SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — While 6 out of 10 parents with infant children recognize the educational potential of smartphones, only 1 out of 10 parents actually used mobile educational applications for children.
Roughly 60 percent of parents said they let their children play with smartphones to entertain them or so that they could focus on their work.
The Barun ICT Research Center at Yonsei University asked 602 parents with children between the ages of 12 months and 6 years if smartphones or tablets help children’s education.
Among the respondents, 57 percent said they recognize the educational effect of smartphones.
However, educational apps accounted for merely 7.8 percent of smartphone usage by children, indicating that less than 1 out of 10 parents offer educational apps to their kids.
Children were typically shown YouTube and other video applications that accounted for as much as 82.1 percent of total smartphone usage.
Most children watched toy reviews and entertainment videos (43.3 percent), animations and cartoons (31.7 percent), and song and dance videos (23.6 percent).
When it came to smartphone use among children, only 16.8 percent of parents said they used the device with their children, while 49.9 percent said they observed the smartphone use, and 32.2 percent said they focused on their work instead.
On the reasons for giving a smartphone to kids, 31.1 percent of parents said they wanted to avoid distractions during work, 27.7 percent wanted to calm their kids down, 26.6 percent said their children like smartphones, and only 7 percent said the smartphone use was for educational purposes.
On the amount of time spent on smartphones, 57.1 percent of the parents said they wanted their kids to cut back on smartphone use, while 9.2 percent said they wanted to completely ban smartphone use and 32.5 percent said they were okay with current usage.
The Barun Research Center said children are more exposed to cartoons and entertainment apps than educational ones because parents give smartphones to children to avoid being distracted during work.
“Many parents are using smartphones as an easy way to entertain their kids,” said Kim Beom-su, head of the Barun ICT Research Center.
“To maximize educational value, parents should constantly advise and communicate with their children when they play with smartphones.”
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)