For children and teenagers, it is increasingly all about mobile

Monitor Report 2017This year sees the resurgence of the mobile phone among five to 16 year olds, according to the latest 2017 CHILDWISE Monitor Report. Smartphones are now the default device for music, online access, gaming, video content and reading (after printed books), as young people seek endless entertainment - anywhere and everywhere.

The new data shows the extent to which the mobile phone now dominates children’s media experiences, with ownership increasing steadily – especially among primary aged children – and usage more varied than ever before. For the first time ever, children are now more likely to use their mobile phone to go online than for any other purpose, including texting or calling.

The 2017 CHILDWISE Monitor is a comprehensive annual report looking at five to 16 year olds media consumption, purchasing and social habits as well as key behaviour. Around 2000 children in schools across the United Kingdom completed in-depth online surveys for the report.

The report also reveals that tablet ownership has reached saturation point after years of rapid growth. Two thirds of children have their own touchscreen tablet at home.

Simon Leggett, research director from CHILDWISE says: “Our research suggests that children now expect to be constantly entertained. They want to fill every free moment they have. Tablets were a gateway to apps and the internet for many children – they were the technology of choice and widely endorsed by parents. Children now expect the same level of functionality when they’re out and about, and the mobile phone delivers that” says Simon.

“Children expect to access their favourite media at all times, whether it is games, music, video content or social media,” adds Simon Leggett. The report suggests that it is unlikely that tablet growth will increase much further, with two in three children now owning one.

“Tablets are not as portable as mobile phones and they don’t work ‘on the go’ as easily as a mobile phone. This is why we have seen a modest resurgence of the mobile phone, which children can have with them and use at all times to fill any moment of boredom with gaming, viewing YouTube videos, catching up with social media or listening to music.”

“The mobile phone is increasingly becoming a preferred go-to multimedia gadget for children overall. For primary aged children particularly, exposure to what a tablet can offer has left them wanting more, especially when they are outside the home.”

“Children are now becoming adept at the positive skills of multi-tasking, prioritising and filtering through the huge amount of content available to them. When they find something that interests them, they will engage fully.”

Most children say their use of technology helps them learn and develop new interests. However, a significant minority are concerned about their over reliance on them. Around one in four find it difficult to go several hours without checking them, say they have missed out on sleep because they have spent too long on gadgets and would like to spend more time away from them.

Three in 10 children say they have to check their connected devices every few minutes.

Most teenagers break rules set for them for internet use and a significant minority of nine to 12 year olds go online longer than they are allowed, or when they shouldn’t.

Findings of the report also include…

  • Children claim to use the internet for an average of three hours a day. One in eight say they spend more than six hours online per day.
  • Social networking sites are more popular than texting for children to keep in touch with one another outside school.
  • YouTube is the most popular website among children this year, far ahead of second place favourite Snapchat, and is the most popular video on demand service, ahead of second place Netflix - almost all children use YouTube.
  • Children are now just as likely to watch content on their mobile phone as on a TV set.
  • A quarter of nine to 16s turn off or get around safety controls when they go online.

CHILDWISE is an independent market research agency specialising in children and young people. CHILDWISE has a programme of published independent research and also conducts research for government agencies, charities, broadcasters, publishers and brands

The Monitor Report 2017 covers... Tablets and technology; websites and applications; gaming, YouTube; mobile phones; TV viewing; video on demand; music; reading; children’s equipment; money; purchasing; sports & activities; health & wellbeing and social awareness.

Written by E-safety Support on January 27, 2017 11:28

Worldwide research into the benefits and risk of Internet use by young people

Global Kids Online research confirms that the majority of children say they learn something new online at least every week, but large numbers still face risks online.

Global Kids OnlineThe Global Kids Online project, launched earlier this week (1st November) at the Children’s Lives in the Digital Age seminar held at UNICEF Headquarters in New York, aims to build a global network of researchers using their research toolkit to investigate the risks and opportunities of child Internet use.

Their initial research, carried out in Argentina, the Philippines, Serbia and South Africa, with support from UNICEF country offices, piloted the research toolkit, with the results being compared and combined to demonstrate both similarities and differences between countries.

The key findings of the pilot research include:

  1. Children predominantly access the Internet at home and through mobile devices - Children in all four countries report that they most frequently go online at home. Access to the Internet through schools is not as common

  2. The majority of children learn something new by searching the Internet - Most children who use the Internet say they learn something new online at least every week.

  3. Younger Internet users lack the digital skills of their older peers - There is a clear age trend in all four countries in terms of children’s self-reported ability to check if information they find online is true.

  4. Younger children’s digital safety skills also need support - Most of the older children, but fewer younger children, report knowing how to manage their privacy settings online, a key indication of their digital and safety skills.

  5. A substantial minority of young Internet users have had contact with unknown people online - Between 19 per cent (in the Philippines) and 41 per cent of children (in Serbia and South Africa) have been in touch online with somebody they have not met in person.

  6. Argentinian children are most likely to report having been bothered or upset online in the past year - Between a fifth (in South Africa) and three-quarters (in Argentina) of children report feeling upset about something that happened online, with older children reporting more incidents.

  7. Countries vary in the amount of risks encountered and the balance with online opportunities - As many as one third of children in Serbia reported being treated in a hurtful way by their peers, online or offline, though in South Africa and the Philippines only a fifth said this had happened to them.

  8. Children are most likely to seek support from a friend, and rarely from a teacher - In all four countries, the most common source of support is friends – between a third and two-thirds of children spoke to a friend the last time something upsetting happened online. Few children confided in a teacher, and the follow-up survey questions suggested that few children had received e-safety or digital literacy teaching at school.

One of the conclusions of the findings suggests that, “children are generally positive about the opportunities available for them online. However, children do not use the Internet in schools as much as expected and they generally do not see teachers as those they could confide in about what bothers them online”.

The toolkit is being made available for researchers to utilise allowing the research to be broadened globally. The project aims “to connect evidence with the ongoing international dialogue regarding policy and practical solutions for children’s well-being and rights in the digital age, especially in countries where the Internet is only recently reaching the mass market”.

More information about the project and a full copy of the pilot research findings can be found at

Written by E-safety Support on November 03, 2016 12:04

New CHILDWISE report reveals major shift in online behaviour

Major shift in UK children’s behaviour as time online overtakes time watching TV for first time ever, reveals new report.

Childwise Media Report 2016This year has seen a major shift in UK children’s media use with time spent online overtaking TV viewing for the first time ever, according to the latest 2016 CHILDWISE Monitor Report.

Tablet ownership also soared this year – up by 50% from last year. Just six years after the UK release of the iPad, tablets have swept into children’s lives, with two in three (67%) now having their own device.

The new data shows that YouTube has taken centre stage in children’s lives this year to become the place they turn to for entertainment, music, games, TV programmes, instruction and advice. Half use the site every day, almost all do so on occasion.

The majority of children who use YouTube visit the site to access music videos (58%). Around half of users keep themselves entertained with funny content on YouTube (52%). Around a third watch gaming content, vlogs/blogs, TV programmes or ‘how to’ videos.

Children are also going online more in their bedrooms. Three in four children (73%) can now access the internet in their room, up from two in three (63%) last year.

The 2016 CHILDWISE Monitor is a comprehensive annual report looking at five to 16-year-olds media consumption, purchasing and social habits as well as key behaviour. More than 2000 children in schools across the United Kingdom completed in-depth online surveys for the report.

“Growing access to the internet at any time and in any place, and a blurring of television content across channels and devices, brings a landmark change in behaviour this year. TV viewing has been redefined,” says Simon Leggett, Research Director from CHILDWISE.

“Children are now seeking out the content of their choice. They still find traditional TV programmes engaging but are increasingly watching them online and on-demand or binge watching box sets.”

This year, for the first time, tablet devices have overtaken laptops/PCs/netbooks as the main type of computer that children have in their homes. Four in five children (79%) now live in a house with a tablet device in it. This is a significant rise from just three in five (61%) last year.

Findings of the report also include...

  • Children age 5-16 now use the internet for an average of three hours a day and watch TV for 2.1 hours. It is worth noting that simply counting hours spent on devices can be problematic. Children multi task and often use more than one device at once and don’t always give each full attention.
  • 63% of children own their own mobile phone with an average monthly spend of £12.
  • Favourite internet vloggers
    Zoella, real name Zoe Sugg, is children’s favourite YouTuber, followed by TheDiamondMinecart, Thatcher Joe, KSI and Stampy.

    For the first time the CHILDWISE Monitor report asked children age 7 to 16 that used YouTube who their favourite YouTubers were or what were their favourite channels on the site.

    The YouTuber with the most mentions was fashion and beauty vlogger Zoella. She was a favourite among girls with 15% naming her as favourite and 8% naming her overall.

    TheDiamondMinecart, real name Daniel Middleton, posts daily videos about the popular game Minecraft. He was popular among boys, chosen by 6%, compared to 4% overall.

    Zoella’s boyfriend Alfie Deyes of PointlessBlog fame (named by 2% overall) and her brother Joe Sugg, known as Thatcher Joe (4%) are continuing favourites.

    “This is the year YouTube use has exploded among children with almost half (48%) using it every day and just 10% never using it,” says Simon

    “Around a third of children who use YouTube watch vlogs/blogs. Girls are much more likely to be interested in these than boys and viewing is highest for older children, peaking at half of 11-12 year olds.”

    However, the majority of children are passive consumers, rather than contributors to YouTube, rarely going beyond liking/disliking content or subscribing to channels. Only a minority ever post comments, share or upload videos.

    “Children of all ages, both boys and girls, find somebody to follow on YouTube who speaks directly to them and reflects their interests, coming across as authentic and unmediated,” Simon added.

    “For older girls, vloggers are filling the role previously held by magazines – somewhere to read about other people’s lives, problems, cringes, new ideas and fashion.”

    Boys of all ages enjoy FIFA football gaming commentary by vloggers such as Joe Weller and Miniminter. Younger boys like Minecraft gameplay vloggers such as TheDiamondMinecart, Stampy and iBallisticSquid. Older boys favour KSI

    CHILDWISE is an independent market research agency specialising in children and young people.

    The Monitor Report 2015-6 covers computers and the internet; websites and applications; gaming, YouTube; mobile phones; TV viewing; music; reading; cinema; children’s equipment; money; purchasing; sports & activities; health & wellbeing and social awarenes.

    Written by E-safety Support on February 25, 2016 10:37

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