Parents no longer needed for homework

Parents no longer needed for homework help as modern generations become empowered by smart devices, Lenovo™ survey finds

New research released today by Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) shows how education around the world has been positively transformed thanks to smarter technology, creating a generation of independent learners and problem solvers.

The research, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals globally – including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France, and Italy – reveals that over two-thirds of UK parents (69 per cent) 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 per cent) and China (85 per cent), both of which have also seen a rise in parents using technology to assist with their kids’ learning in recent years[i]. The least was in Germany, at 54 per cent, 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 wide-spread in Germany following an initiative from the government in 2018, to equip more than 40,000[ii] schools with newest computers and software. 

Parents depend on tech, too

On the flipside, 62 per cent of UK 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 (47 per cent) and Science (33 per cent). And this may link to schools too, with 82 per cent in the UK believing today's students already have a better understanding of tech than those teaching them.

Most UK respondents (83 per cent) agreed that advances in technology in education are helping both girls and boys perform better in school, equally. Likewise, a substantial majority of working parents (78 per cent) in the UK 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.

Tech empowering a new generation of independent learners

While technology has many positives in aiding learning (use of high-speed Internet, automated translation tools, and accessibility features), 73 per cent of UK respondents said they have concerns it could create dependencies in young people, potentially affecting social skills, and 71 per cent feel it is affecting memory skills of students as well.

On the contrary, 66 per cent of the UK 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 per cent) and highest in India, with 91 per cent agreeing, which could be related to the Boy doing homework without his parentscountry’s growing reliance on technology to help educate younger generations. A recent report[iii] 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.

As for youths themselves, Gen Z and millennials in the UK generally feel that technology has had a positive role in their education, with 31 per cent agreeing it makes it easier to find out about causes or social issues they care about. The sentiment was shared by the general population, too, with almost half (48 per cent) in the UK believing technology will be “extremely important” in solving future challenges in education.

Psychologist and founder of Digital Nutrition, Jocelyn Brewer, comments:

“Not only has much of the curriculum taught across the globe been revamped and updated in recent decades, but pedagogy and ways of learning have shifted as well. Many parents regularly report feeling unequipped to help their children with aspects of study beyond moral support and emotional encouragement to achieve in school.”

“Parenting in a digitally saturated world can pose additional challenges for modern families, as educational technology might feel quite foreign to their own experiences of learning and socialising. Parents might feel overwhelmed and confused about how to best support their children to develop the academic, social-emotional skills that help them achieve life success as well as satisfaction. They are seeking practical and positive support that balances the value of technology to support learning and avoiding sources of distraction.”

Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of User and Customer Experience, Lenovo, commented:

“There is no doubt that the world of education is being transformed due to smart technology, offering children the opportunity to be adventurous and independent learners, who are empowered to find out the right answers themselves. As with everything, it is important to strike the right balance on and offline, but technology can be a uniting force for families. It is also important to remember that some parents are better equipped to offer children answers on educational subjects than others, especially in different regions across the world.”

“However, our technology solutions allow students to experience immersive, active learning that is not confined to the classroom. And so it’s clear to see that world-over, tech is a universal leveler, allowing more children access to a plethora of information sources rather than being reliant on the expertise of adults in their immediate proximity.”

About the research

Lenovo surveyed 15,226 people in eight languages across 10 global markets, including the US, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Japan, UK, Germany, France and Italy. The respondent sample was nationally representative of the online adult population (18+) in each market.

The survey was conducted March 31st – April 27th, 2019 and the overall margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point (at a 95 per cent confidence level); the margin of error within each country is +/- 3 percentage points (at a 95 per cent confidence level). The survey probed respondents on how they view the role of technology in their lives and in society, both today and in the future.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we’re also leading an Intelligent Transformation to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world. To find out more, visit https://www.lenovo.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Weibo and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.

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