How much time did children spend online for online school: the study with surprise conclusions

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In 2020, the Romanian education system also discovered online schooling, a forced pandemic transition. In this context, a study comes with surprising conclusions.

In the spring, when Romania was preparing to move to the state of emergency, schools closed and students were sent home without knowing what would happen in the future. The solution was immediately identified, where possible: new technologies. However, not everyone had access to the internet and not all teachers were prepared for such a situation.

A study conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Romanian Academy in collaboration with the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC) shows the transition from face-to-face teaching to online schooling has not led to a significant increase in digital devices in students’ families. The whole phone remains the preferred tool, to the detriment of devices considered optimal for teaching – laptop / computer or tablet, as shown

How many students have been on the internet

The study shows that students spent more than seven hours on the Internet, almost double the time spent on the Internet just for school. And still, the most common digital devices of families are smartphones (3 devices / family is both average and median), followed by PC / laptop (2 devices / household) and tablets (one device per household).

The study also comes with some interesting conclusions:

  • During the COVID-19 crisis in the spring of 2020, about one in five families supplemented their digital devices in the household, most with smartphones, followed by PCs / laptops and tablets.
  • About 7 out of 10 children said that they used their smartphone and computer / laptop more during their “stay at home” period.
  • About 5% started using a digital device during this period (most starting to use the laptop; the tablet is the least used digital device by children.

Children’s digital skills and online practices:

  • • Most have digital skills that are related to social media or online communication practices (8 out of 10 say they know how to use video conferencing applications, 7 out of 10 know what to do and what not to share online, and a percentage similarly knows how to change the privacy settings of an account on a social platform.
  • • Information skills and those related to digital citizenship are relatively lower.
  • • The increase in digital skills during the COVID-19 period varied the most with the schooling cycle, from 3.9 for primary school children to 5 for high school children.
  • • Regarding online information practices, 7 out of 10 children state that during this period they learned more by searching for things on the internet than in the previous period; At the same time, the percentage of those who searched for news online is the least increasing (37%).

The full study can be read HERE.


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