Sumary of The Smith Family survey shows digital divide a ‘huge issue’ for kids during pandemic:
- The Smith Family children’s education charity surveyed 134 of its frontline workers across the country to assess the impact of the pandemic on young people’s education.
- Credit: istockThe Smith Family Pulse Survey, conducted in October last year, also said 75 per cent of support workers reported seeing an impact on students’ motivation to learn as a direct result of Covid and/or lockdowns.
- Three in four respondents said some students were at risk of disengaging with learning as a result of the disruption, based on what families and schools told them.
- Camera IconA digital divide is affecting students and families, the survey found.
- Credit: SuppliedOne Victorian family support worker reported having children trying to access classes on phones, while an ACT worker said some families told her they had stopped homeschooling altogether because of issues accessing digital devices, internet data and lack of digital skills.
- The Smith Family chief executive Doug Taylor said the charity was working hard to address the low levels of digital literacy, which he described as a “huge issue” for some of the families the charity supported, but more needed to be done.
- Mr Taylor said extended lockdowns in Victoria, NSW and the ACT had worsened what was an already challenging and stressful time for students and families living in disadvantage before the pandemic began.