University of Tartu media researchers: Estonian children are smart internet users | Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu

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Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
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Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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Faculty of Science and Technology
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Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
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  • Estonian Marine Institute
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    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
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Institutions
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Other Units
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  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307 Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012 Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5027
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4510
    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6339
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-244, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

University of Tartu media researchers: Estonian children are smart internet users

Source: EU Kids Online

While Estonian children have previously shown a rather risky online behaviour, a new study classifies them as fairly smart internet users among European peers.

According to the recent report of the international research network EU Kids Online, Estonian children are rather active and diverse users of the internet compared to their European peers. At the same time, they experience online risks comparatively rarely. In terms of disturbing online experiences, Estonian children are at the European average level.

The majority of 9–16-year-olds in 19 European countries report using their smartphones daily or almost all the time. This marks a substantial increase in both the proportion of smartphone-using children as well as the amount of their internet use compared with the EU Kids Online 2010 survey.

There are still considerable differences between European countries. For instance, the time children spend online varies between 2.2 hours per day (Switzerland) and 3.6 hours (Norway). Estonian children with their 2.9 hours online per day represent the European average, sharing the 7–9th place with Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Children mostly use the internet to watch videos, communicate with their family and friends, visit social media sites and play games.

Estonia and Lithuania stand out positively

The study mapped the participating countries according to the diversity of children’s online activities as well as online risks and harm they encounter. During the month preceding the survey, Estonian children engaged in more than nine different online activities on average, placing them among the best in Europe. At the same time, Estonian children encountered fewer online risks (below 1.5) than their European peers on average. Only the survey among Lithuanian children showed similar results.

Veronika Kalmus, head of the Estonian research team of EU Kids Online and Professor of Sociology of the University of Tartu, said that such a positive result for Estonia and Lithuania was for her the greatest surprise of the survey. “Online behaviour of Estonian children has become smarter and more mature, children are now better at using the opportunities of the online world and avoiding excessive risk-taking,” summarised Kalmus.

Potential for improvement

A quarter of Estonian 9–16-year-olds reported having encountered disturbing content (some type of online harm) on the internet during the year preceding the survey. This figure represents the European average (25%) and has remained the same compared to the 2010 survey.

Most often, Estonian children reported concern about an unfriendly online environment: cyberbullying and hate speech. The percentage of children who had experienced cyberbullying has not decreased over the years, but Estonia is no longer leading in Europe in that aspect. Moreover, a relatively small percentage of Estonian children (12%) reported having been very upset by cyberbullying (compared to 29% in the Czech Republic, for instance). 

Estonian parents do well     

Children’s internet use has become a more common topic in families: 59% of Estonian 9–16-year-olds reported that they often or sometimes discuss their online activities with their parents. Although more active mediation is more common among parents of girls and younger children, Estonian parents have generally started to pay more attention to their children’s internet use.

Andra Siibak, member of the Estonian research team of EU Kids Online and Professor of Media Studies of the University of Tartu, said she was happy to see that compared to the results of eight years ago, the rather carefree attitude of Estonian parents towards their children’s internet use has slowly started to change and parents are becoming more active in applying different parental mediation strategies.

One aspect by which Estonian parents stand out in the comparison with other countries is that they normally do not share online content concerning the child that would seem inappropriate for the child or require removal. During the month preceding the survey, only 1% of the Estonian 12–16-year-olds participating in the survey had asked their parents to remove a social media post their parents had made about them. By this figure, Estonia holds the first place among participating countries along with Germany, Lithuania and Slovakia.

The EU Kids Online network brings together researchers from more than 30 European countries studying the internet use of children and young people. The first EU Kids Online survey was carried out in 2010 in 25 European countries. The results of the study are used to bring more safety and awareness into children’s internet use and develop recommendations and guidelines on the topic. On the basis of the results, recommendations are given to improve children’s internet safety and media literacy. Estonia is represented in the EU Kids Online network by the research team from the Institute of Social Studies of the University of Tartu. More information is available on the Estonian website of EU Kids Online.

Further information:
Veronika Kalmus, Professor of Sociology of the University of Tartu, +372 5662 3583, veronika.kalmus [ät] ut.ee
Andra Siibak, Professor of Media Studies of the University of Tartu, +372 517 4146, andra.siibak [ät] ut.ee

Sandra Sommer
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Tel: +(372) 737 5681
Mob: +(372) 5307 7820
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