In a poll commissioned by BT Skills for Tomorrow, UK parents were asked a range of questions focussed on the role the online world played for them in lockdown.
The research revealed that over three-quarters of parents (79%) admit that their family’s use of digital platforms has increased since lockdown began and a further 89% state that use of online technology has been a blessing for their family during lockdown.
Despite their increasing reliance on online platforms, the research also highlighted the questions parents have when trying to understand their children’s online world, with those surveyed worrying about their children’s online activity more than 5 times a day (5.3 times). The most common uncertainties raised are managing screen time (51%) and whether social media influencers are a safe and good influence on their child (40%).
The research was commissioned by BT Skills for Tomorrow which is helping families this summer with their children’s online world to help them explore and enjoy it safely. From managing screen time to guides about online influencers, and games to keep kids entertained whilst learning, BT has created resources to help families make the most of life in the digital world this summer.
TV presenter and parent, Angellica Bell, said about BT Skills for Tomorrow: “Living in lockdown has been something we’ve all had to adjust to, for different reasons, and as a parent with children home-schooling, I had to make sure I was across their online activity every second of the day. It’s so important that we are aware of how to protect children when they are online and limiting the amount of time they spend in front of a screen. Plus, there are ways of monitoring the sites they visit and influencers they are following. That’s why it’s great BT are offering an easy, free platform to help parents during the summer.”
Professor Kerensa Jennings, Digital Impact Director, BT, added: “As lockdown has led to families relying on tech more than ever, it’s clear from our research that parents have a huge number of questions about their children’s online world. BT Skills for Tomorrow helps parents answer these questions so that families can better understand and navigate what their children are doing online and ensure that they can make the most of life in the digital world.”
UK parents were also asked to select their heroes from a 25-person shortlist based on how they had used technology, online platforms and social media to benefit families during lockdown.
Captain Sir Tom led the way with 38% of votes, followed by Joe Wicks (35%) for his record-breaking virtual PE lessons, and Marcus Rashford (29%) for his use of social media to campaign for free school meal vouchers during the summer holidays. Ayesha Pakravan-Ovey’s (17%) came in fourth for her online campaign to help deliver free meals to vulnerable people during lockdown, while Carol Vorderman (14%) completed the top five after delivering free online maths lessons for children.
In a bid to recognise more people who have used digital platforms to help families during lockdown, BT has partnered with parenting community Channel Mum to find BT’s Local Digital Lockdown Heroes, and is encouraging the public to nominate those who have supported their local communities and families using digital platforms and technology.
See articles and resources to help children stay safe online.