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Third of poorest pupils 'have no internet at home'

04/01/2013 Kelly
With the internet becoming such an important part of people's lives, it is increasingly being incorporated into lesson plans and homework.

In fact, the government has even revealed plans for a new campaign about internet safety this week, that will target school children specifically and youngsters from the ages of just two and three.

But while the internet may now seem like an ubiquitous part of modern life, people in teaching jobs should think carefully before incorporating it into the homework tasks they set for their students.

That is because figures analysed by the E-Learning Foundation suggest that more than a third of children from the poorest families still do not have a computer or access to the internet at home.

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics, the figures show a clear economic divide in terms of internet access - with children from the wealthiest homes all having computer and internet access.

Overall, 90 per cent of children have internet access but the remaining ten per cent who don't may be missing out, with campaigners telling the BBC that the growing digital divide is having an impact on poor pupils' educations.

Valerie Thompson from the E-Learning Foundation told the news provider that lack of home internet connection or computer access means children struggle with homework and coursework.

"These new statistics show the digital divide is still a major issue for this country's young people," she told the news provider.

"Poverty is clearly a factor in poor access to digital learning technologies and poor performance at school. The link between the two cannot be ignored."

This comes shortly after research from Oxford University indicated that those teenagers who do not have an internet connection not only feel academically disadvantaged as a result of the growing significance it plays in work set for them to do at home, but also somewhat cut off from the rest of their peer group.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801516825-ADNFCR
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