uSwitch study finds school children have £270 worth of gadgets in school bags

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Parents told uSwitch that “paying hundreds of pounds for cutting-edge kit is a price worth paying to give their kids an advantage at school.”

A study from price comparison website uSwitch has revealed that children under 16 will be going back to school with an average of £270 worth of gadgets in their school bags.

The study asked 1,000 parents across the UK about the technology, including smartphones, tablets or laptops, they’re sending their children back to school with. It also discovered that 27 per cent of children will be going back to school with £400 worth of technology.

Smartphone usage has also increased. Around 14 per cent of those surveyed said that their children would use smartphones for referencing. Only 11 per cent gave a similar answer last year. Up to 33 per cent of those surveyed this year will also use tablets for homework – an 8 per cent increase from last year.

Half of the parents surveyed told uSwitch that “paying hundreds of pounds for cutting-edge kit is a price worth paying to give their kids an advantage at school.”

uSwitch technology expert Ernest Doku said: ““Embracing tablets and laptops in both the classroom and with homework can speed up research, as well as lighten the load with children carting around fewer books.

“But many parents are still concerned about how much kids are using gadgets, and whether it will impact their social skills in the long term.”

Up to 49 per cent of those surveyed by uSwitch expressed worries that this reliance in technology would damage their children’s social skills.

Security software specialist Kaspersky recently researched ‘Digital Amnesia,’ which it called “the experience of forgetting information which has been trusted to your connected device.” The company surveyed 6,000 consumers aged between 16 and 55 across Europe for its ‘Digital Amnesia’ research.

It discovered that up to 60 per cent of adults could easily remember their home telephone number without having to look it up on their smartphones or other gadgets. However, 53 per cent and 51 per cent respectively said they couldn’t call their children or office without having to look up the number on a device.

Around 79.5 per cent said that they use the internet as an extension of their brain, whilst 61 per cent needed a smartphone to quickly look up information because they don’t have time for libraries or books.

Kaspersky Lab’s principal security researcher David Emm said: “Although connected devices enrich our lives, they have also given rise to Digital Amnesia. With the concern growing for technology shaping our children’s development, we can take some simple steps as parents to ensure this doesn’t have dramatic effects on our children’s future.

“Monitoring our children’s use of gadgets, putting in time restrictions, and securing devices from inappropriate content online will ensure our children are safe on the web, and that they spend time with other human beings – not just their tablets.”

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