Reporting crime and bad drivers, having job interviews, calculating carbon emissions and truancy alerts for parents are just some of the services that Britons want from the internet, according to research released today.
A national study commissioned by public services site Directgov questioned over 2,000 parents, teenagers, over 50s, motorists and disabled people to identify the services which they believe are missing from the internet.
When asked to name the one online service they most want from the internet in the future the top answers were:
- 'No show' truancy alert if a child does not arrive at school (Parents)
- Taking a virtual tour of colleges or universities (14-18 year-olds)
- Guides to local services for older people (over 50s)
- Online car tax renewal (Motorists)
- Personalised journey planners mapped by accessibility (Disabled people)
"Two-thirds of our sample said that the internet is invaluable in helping them to manage their lives, and this project helps us to understand what information people want from online services," said Directgov chief executive Jayne Nickalls.
"Although each group has different needs and priorities, some themes did emerge: staying connected with friends and family; saving time and hassle by web-based contact with public services; and tools that enhance life experiences. "
What parents want from the internet - top five responses:
- Immediate alert if child has not turned up at school
- Access to child's school disciplinary record
- A say in the running of a child's school (e.g. online PTA meetings)
- Tracking of child's journey to or from school
- Webcams in child's classroom
Parents revealed that they want to get more involved with their children's education. A quarter want to receive immediate online alerts if their child has not turned up for registration.
Parents also revealed that they want to use online technology to support their child's learning, such as being able to playback school lessons to help with homework.
Almost one in 10 parents want a bigger say in how their child's school is run, such as taking part in online PTA meetings. One in 12 want to view the school's disciplinary record on the web.
Tracking children's movements outside school as a safety measure emerged as a key theme. Some even suggested that children should be fitted with a transmitter monitored by their parents.
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