Encyclopaedia BritannicaEncyclopaedia Britannica iPad jigsawTwo in five parents who download educational 'apps' – in a survey group of 510 UK parents of 5 to 10-year-olds – reckon that they have helped improve attainment for their children. And the average smartphone-equipped family has downloaded four apps for learning.

The survey was carried out by PCP market researchers on behalf of Encyclopeadia Britannica which today (Thursday April, 21) makes all of its education apps, worth £4.99 each, available for free download from midnight  for the whole Easter weekend.

The 510 parents were from a random sample of families using a range of smartphones and smart devices. (The free apps from Encyclodaedia Britannica are for Apple devices and are available from the iTunes Store.)

These are the key findings of the survey:

  • 40% of parents who download educational apps say their children’s academic performance has improved;
  • 94% of parents who have downloaded an app say it has helped with school projects;
  • 58% of parents actively encourage their child to download apps for exam revision, homework and learning about new topics;
  • Families with smart devices have downloaded more than 4 educational apps each;
  • 65% of parents with smartphones want to see more educational apps developed;
  • 63% of parents with smartphones say educational apps encourage independent learning;
  • 46% of parents with smartphones say their children prefer to learn from educational apps, than other methods.

Even though the percentage of parents who feel that apps improved their children's attainment is still a minority, albeit a sizable one, the overall consensus is clearly that apps help learning, both in and out of the classroom. And parents want more.

Britannica apps free to download until midnight Easter Monday

Until midnight on Easter Monday Encyclopædia Britannica is offering all of its educational mobile children’s apps free for download. Britannica Kids apps, which normally cost £4.99 each, help tailor Britannica's own content on Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Dinosaurs, Volcanoes, Rainforests and the Solar System. Designed for children aged 8-12, they are fully interactive, offer a range of games, puzzles, videos and photos and are specifically designed to help children with homework, projects and exams.

“Britannica is committed raising educational standards and we’re delighted to offer parents and families the chance to access all of our educational apps for free this Easter weekend," says Ian Grant, Encyclopædia Britannica UK managing director. “It’s great that families are fully embracing new technologies when it comes to their children’s education and that they’re starting to see tangible benefits to academic attainment, both in and out of the classroom.”

“In a busy, hectic, stress-filled world of trying to get children interested in learning and being curious about the world, we need to engage them in new ways, and what better way than to download smartphone apps?” asks author and blogger Sue Atkins, who advises parents on raising children and wrote Raising Happy Children for Dummies. “As a parent myself, I welcome this brilliant new way to help my daughter with her revision.”

More information

Britannica’s web page about its Apple-based educational apps, which are downloadable from the iTunes Store, can be found at http://www.Britannica.co.uk/apps
The research was carried out online in March 2011 by PCP among 510 UK parents of children aged 5 – 11 with access to at least one smart device.
Britannica on Twitter: @Britannica_UK