How technology changes the lifestyle of Year 6 children in ten years

An annual survey about media and activities of Y6 children carried out at a selection of primary schools with differing demographics in West Yorkshire have revealed some notable changes in lifestyle that have taken place from 2001 to 2011:

  1. A significant decline in watching broadcast television. Children now watch around 2/3 the number of hours per week as children in 2001 and it's lower for boys than girls. It's also quite commonplace for children to get through a day without watching any broadcast television at all.
  2. ITV1 was the 2nd most popular TV channel back in 2001. Now it has dropped out of the top 10 TV channels. In 2001 the top 10 TV channels also included BBC1, BBC2, and C4. BBC1 is now the only traditional terrestrial channel remaining in the top 10.
  3. The top 10 TV channels now includes YouTube. Internet television was not even recorded as an activity in 2001.
  4. No ethnic or foreign TV channels feature in the top 10 yet, but a few of them (mostly Islamic) now feature in the top 25. A significant proportion of ethnic children no longer watch the traditional terrestrial channels apart from occasional programmes.
  5. The time spent watching DVDs and videos is about the same in 2011 as it was in 2001.
  6. Video games are increasing in popularity with nearly 80% of all children playing them on a regular basis. Games console ownership has increased from around 50% to 70% of all children. They are less popular with children from certain ethnic groups.
  7. The greatest rise in popularity since 2001 is the internet. Just over 20% of children had internet access at home in 2001 and their hours were restricted because of time metered telephone charges. Now over 90% of all children have internet access and most use the internet every day. Watching videos is a popular activity.
  8. The second greatest increase is playing with mobile phones and apps. Mobile phones were not even included in the 2001 survey. Over 70% of all children now own a mobile phone.
  9. Over half of all children now have a computer of their own and laptops outnumber desktops.
  10. The number of children who are involved in programming, website design, video production, and creative activities on computers has increased from under 5% in 2001 to around 15% today.
  11. Over 75% of children now regularly use the internet to help with homework. Up from around 10% in 2001. There has been a notable increase in children finding out about things not taught in schools as part of the National Curriculum.
  12. Print media is less popular in 2011 than in 2001 with newspapers and magazines showing a steeper decline in popularity than books.
  13. Children devote less time per week to sports and physical activities than they did in 2001. The physical activity with the greatest (and only significant) increase in popularity is BMX riding although it didn't feature as a separate category in the survey until 2003.
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