Lenovo study: Modern generations become independent learners by smarter technology
The research, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals globally – including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France, and Italy – reveals that three-quarters of parents (75 percent) say their kids are more likely to look something up online than ask them for help when it comes to a question about schoolwork. The countries where this was most prevalent was India (89 percent) and China (85 percent), both of which have also seen a rise in parents using technology to assist with their kids’ learning in recent years. The least was in Germany, at 54 percent, where according to the Lenovo survey people are reported to be more wary about tech in general, especially in the classroom. However, tech adoption is beginning to become more widespread in Germany following an initiative from the government in 2018, to equip more than 40,000 schools with the newest computers and software. Parents depend on tech, too On the flipside, 60 percent of parents also say they have, at least once, looked something up online and then pretended they already knew the answer when helping their child with schoolwork. This was most common with STEM subjects such as Mathematics (45 percent) and Science (38 percent), as well as Geography (36 percent) and Foreign Languages (35 percent). Most global respondents (83 percent) agreed that advances in technology in education are helping students perform better in school. Likewise, a substantial majority of working parents (84 percent) said current and new technologies encourage more parents to remain in the workforce due to the personal benefits it brings while also enabling them to stay more connected with their families. This was highest in China and India, with a massive 95 percent of respondents in both countries believing tech is helping to balance their careers and parenting lives, followed by Brazil at 89 percent. The countries that agreed least with this sentiment were, again, Germany (68 percent) along with Italy (71 percent), perhaps indicating tech is less of a deciding factor in the equation of whether parents stay in the workforce. Tech empowering a new generation of independent learners While technology has many positives in aiding learning (use of the high-speed Internet, automated translation tools, and accessibility features), 72 percent of parents said they have concerns it could create dependencies in young people, potentially affecting social skills. On the contrary, 73 percent said they trust technology is aiding future generations to be “more independent learners and problem solvers”. This notion was felt lowest in the US (59 percent) and highest in India, with 91 percent agreeing, which could be related to the country’s growing reliance on technology to help educate younger generations. A recent report established that the majority of mothers in India are using smartphones for parenting, with eight in 10 believing technology has made parenting easier. This suggests that parents in the country are seeing the true transformative power of technology, for example how some schools are beginning to adopt VR to create inclusive and immersive learning environments, supporting students facing physical, social or cognitive disabilities.