UK, EU schools restrict Internet

A study finds British, European kids unhappy with restrictive policies, relevancy of Internet at school.

Americans and British students have more in common than Harry Potter. English students, as well as Americans, feel that Internet use at school is too regulated by teachers, reports BBC News.

In a new study, London University's Institute of Education surveyed 7,393 12- to 18-year-olds from the UK and nine other countries and found that Internet use in British and European schools was based more on prohibition than encouragement. These students all had access to Internet at home. Of the UK students surveyed, 40% believed they should have better access at school and 60% said their teachers never talked to them about the Web. Researchers found that students needed a better understanding of the legalities of downloading music and video as well as the complexities internet safety.

"While UK schools are getting some things right compared with other European countries, there are still too many children who do not get sufficient opportunity to use the Internet in lessons. "Schools need to do more to harness the communicative possibilities of this powerful technology, which allows children to communicate, co-operate, play and learn online," said the UK project director, Dr. Andrew Burn.

Although Dr Burn admits that there has been some progress in the areas of creative uses of information and communication technology (ICT) recently, the Web needs more "freedom, spread and tolerance" in UK schools, he said.

"This suggests a dramatic mismatch between school attitudes to ICT and the internet, and those which students find important and need to learn about.