Media literacy UK children

Anyone interested in a ‘State of the Nation’ report on media literacy amongst children in the UK should take a look at this detailed audit brought to us by Ofcom. Apparently, they are the body responsible for the promotion of media literacy in the UK and the definition of which, according to Ofcom, is ‘the ability to access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts’.

Reading through the data, I was surprised by the 35% of 12-15 year group who don’t use the Internet at home, the same number who don’t own mobile phones, although not necessarily the same individuals. One interpretation could be that we are indeed becoming a nation of ‘digital natives’ but at the same time we also have a significant and worrying ‘digital divide’.

Some facts that struck me

Internet Use:
48% 8-11 year olds use the Internet use at home (boys 54% – girls 42%) for a self reported average of 4.4 hours a week

65% 12-15 year olds use the Internet at home (no gender bias) for a self-reported 6.2 hrs

Phone Use:
65% of 12-15 year olds own a mobile phone

49% of 8-11 year olds own a mobile phone with a sharp increase at 10 years of age

Top 2 reasons for having a phone were given as to talk to friends for girls and to keep in touch with family for boys. Most popular use for phones was first texting, then making phone calls, and third playing games.

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