SURVEY: Most parents of teens say Internet is good for education

Saturday, September 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Parent-teacher e-mails are taking hold these days, a new survey suggests, with more than one in four parents of Internet-connected teen-agers saying they have swapped electronic messages with a teacher.

The survey, released Saturday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that 28 percent of parents have e-mailed teachers.

Most parents feel Internet use, for all its possible perils, benefits their children, project Director Lee Rainie said.

``They sort of swallow hard and say, 'When you add them up and weigh them, the benefits outweigh the problems,''' he said.

Rainie said most parents know about the existence of inappropriate Internet sites and are ``vigilant'' of their children's Internet use.

The survey found that 55 percent of parents whose teen-age children use the Internet regularly ``consider it a good thing.'' Six percent said the Internet has been a bad thing, while 38 percent said it has had no effect on their children.

The survey also found that 18 percent of students know of someone who has used the Internet for cheating, and that 58 percent have used a school Web site or one set up specifically for a class.

Forty-one percent of students said they use e-mail or instant messaging to contact teachers or classmates about schoolwork.

The telephone survey of 754 parents and children between ages 12 and 17 was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates between Nov. 2 and Dec. 15, 2000. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.