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The search goes on

Children and their parents are still spending a disproportionate amount of time searching for educational information on the internet rather than using it in homework, according to new research by online service provider BT Openworld.

The reportJ- Parental Attitudes to the Internet and its Use for School Work - was prepared by the British Market Research Bureau in July, with 608 interviews with parents and their children (aged 5-18) in homes with internet access. They were generally in up-market areas where internet use more prevalent.

Most of the parents interviewed described knowledge of the internet as medium (46 per cent) or low (37 per cent). Most said that they help their children with homework and 85 per cent of those said that they used the web to do it, and 92 per cent they would like their children to have access to more relevant and more easily found sites. Many were also concerned about safety - 61 per cent would like to control the sites their kids use for schoolwork.

BT Openworld is currently testing its own education website and is using the research to inform design.

"We at BT firmly believe education will be a key driver of broadband uptake," said Jennie Martin, head of BT Openworld. "We want to make sure that using the internet for learning becomes a positive experience in the home, and one that supports the use of the internet as a tool for learning."

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