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Back to Basics: Under Pressure To Make Up For Learning Loss, Parents Are Turning To Traditional Classroom Tools After Years Of Disrupted School

New HP research shows parents are optimistic for the new school year; turning to paper-based solutions for learning retention

September 8, 2022

Over the past two years, children’s education has largely taken the form of video conferencing instead of class time, emails instead of group lessons and frustration – for both the children and parents – over learning. Furthermore, reading scores have declined.

A new HP survey polled 1,000 parents of children under 18, digging into what stressors parents are facing this school year. The survey, Back to Basics: Parents Looking to Traditional Classroom Tools to Make Up Lost Learning Time, shows parents are facing unprecedented pressures to ensure their children make the most of this school year.

Parents reported difficulties with managing/providing the right technologies for digital curriculums, students’ ability to focus and engage with virtual schoolwork and a fear that their children may fall further behind academically and socially after two years of disrupted class time.

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Fear of Falling Behind 

Over the past two years, schools and parents were forced to make the best out of sporadic/socially distant learning situations. One in three (33%) parents reported that as a result of the pandemic, their child has fallen behind where they should be in their educational development, and 2 in 5 (39%) reported the same for their social development.

Also, the priority was ensuring kids' safety, while trying to recreate a motivating and inspiring learning environment that’s so crucial during early development. While cutting-edge tools were thankfully available to allow for hybrid learning, it's clear that video conferencing and email threads were not designed for the needs of kindergarteners.

Often strapped for resources and support, 40% of parents agreed their child has teachers who have struggled to create a productive learning environment over the past two years.


Finding Balance

For the ‘22-’23 school year, many classes will be taking steps to find a better balance between digital and traditional learning methods. Recent research has shown that reading comprehension and overall retention tends to be better through printed materials rather than screens.

Sixty-two percent of parents said their child gets easily distracted when completing assignments on a computer or tablet vs on paper. Moreover, 47% of parents said the small screens used at home made it difficult for them to help their children complete assignments and feel engaged in learning.


A Resurgence of Paper-Based Learning

Feeling left out of the loop and frustrated by all-digital curriculums, parents expressed their desire for more tactile and traditional learning methods to get their children on track. One of the most requested was a return to paper-based learning whenever possible. Seventy-nine percent reported that printed educational resources make it easier for them to collaborate with their child on their homework assignments. Further, 74% said printed educational resources help ease their stress over whether their child is focused on their assignments. 

Seventy-two percent of parents said their child retains information better from assignments done on paper versus digital methods. There was a clear majority that said they want to see digital learning balanced with traditional, hands-on methods that kids’ developing brains can respond to.


Enabling Success with Digital and Traditional

As the world continues to navigate back to some semblance of pre-lockdown routine, educators and parents will need to work closely together to ensure that children's unique learning needs are being accounted for.

To give busy parents peace of mind this school year, HP's Instant Ink subscription service delivers printer ink when they need it most. With Instant Ink’s smart subscription model, parents can start the year on the right track for educational forms, weekly family schedules and everything in between.


About the Survey

HP commissioned global research firm Morning Consult to conduct independent research on this topic in alliance with Edelman Data and Intelligence. It was conducted between August 11th and 17th, 2022 among a sample of 1000 US-based Parents of children under 18 (nationally representative across gender, age, region, race/ethnicity) (MOE = +/- 3%)   

The blind interviews were conducted online, and the data was unweighted. Morning Consult works with panel providers to recruit people through a variety of methods including loyalty programs, in-app promos and more, to build a pool of respondents willing to take surveys in exchange for rewards, such as gift cards. 

Media Contacts

Jaclyn Montalvo, HP


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