Parents, work on your technical skills if you want kids to excel

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 19:47 IST
High-income parents are more likely to act as resource providers to their children by searching for opportunities for them outside of school, finds a new study. (Shutterstock)

Parents, take note. You should start using online learning tools and games to help your children perform better, suggests new research.

An American study shows that low-income parents are less likely to use these extra resources or, when they do, they do it less effectively because of differences in motivation and parenting practices.

“A key goal for low-income parents is making sure their children stay in school, so often they are more focused on monitoring whether their kids are doing homework and going to class,” said lead study author Betsy DiSalvo from Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.

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“Their attention is directed towards school and not what could happen outside the classroom,” DiSalvo added.

The team interviewed 63 parents across socio-economic groups and conducted an online survey of 997 parents.

The researchers found that higher-income parents are more likely to act as resource providers by searching for opportunities outside of school, whether it be a book, online game or extracurricular activities.

There were also differences between how high-income and lower-income parents use social networks for education.

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The results revealed that when low-income parents turn to online resources they face greater challenges and some of them also seem to experience greater face-saving concerns.

“They had lower perceived technical skills when it came to using computers, portable devices and conducting searches online. Even when they could do it, they downplayed their abilities,” DiSalvo explained.

“If we can capture these parents and give them access to these educational resources, we can help them help their children improve their learning,” the authors stated.

The study was presented at Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2016 conference in San Jose, California.

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