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Orig. title: KIM-Studie 2016: Basisuntersuchung zum Medienumgang 6- bis 13-Jähriger in Deutschland

Engl. transl.: KIM 2016: Study of the media use of 6- to 13-year-olds in Germany


Kids Children Media Internet Media use Digitalization

Publication details

Year: 2017
Issued: 2017
Language: German
Authors: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Type: Report and working paper
Publisher: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Place: Stuttgart
Topics: Internet usage, practices and engagement; Learning; Literacy and skills
Sample: For the 2016 KIM study, a total of 1,229 German-speaking children between the ages of six and 13 were interviewed personally and verbally (CAPI) at home between May 13 and June 16, 2016 using computer-aided personal and oral surveys. In the 2016 KIM study, kindergarten children were also recorded for the first time if they were six years old at the time of the survey. In parallel to the questioning of the children, the interviews with the main educators were carried out with a self-filling questionnaire (paper & pencil). The field work and data checking were carried out by the IFAK Institute Taunusstein. The selection process was based on a quota procedure. The sample points were stratified according to federal state and type of municipality (BIK location size classes) and randomly selected. Within the sample points, the respondents were selected on the basis of quota specifications with the characteristics gender x age, gender x age x federal state and type of municipality (BIK) x federal state according to the currently available data from the Federal Statistical Office. The results are therefore representative for six to 13-year-olds in Germany. (KIM Study 2016, p.4)


77 percent of all six to 13 year olds say they use a computer or laptop at least rarely. The PC is used by all children at home and every second person also sits at the computer with friends. However, only two fifths use computers at school. Older children at a secondary school (Hauptschule / Realschule: 53%, Gymnasium: 56%) are much more likely to be used in school than by elementary school students (27%). If computers are used in school, then especially in a special subject lesson such as information technology basic education (ITG), frequent subjects are also German, mathematics and foreign languages. Mainly the PC is used in school to write texts or words, in second place is the research on the Internet. At home, the PC is used by most schoolchildren to do their homework research on the Internet, and at home texts are written for school or learning programs are used on the computer. The older the children are, the higher the proportion of students who generally use a computer for school at home. Even among six to seven-year-old computer users, one in two (48%) searches the Internet for school topics on a weekly basis. With increasing age, the proportion rises to 90 percent among twelve to 13-year-olds (8-9 years: 60%, 10-11 years: 75%). Overall, it becomes clear that the use of computers and the Internet as a means of imparting knowledge is more likely to take place at home than in school. YouTube also plays a special role in researching school topics on the Internet. Around one in four YouTube users watches videos on school topics at least once a week - especially for children aged ten and over. (Source:


There are several technological possibilities which can protect children against inappropriate content. Only one quarter of parents whose children use the internet use a type of parental control software, filter, or app. Filters are mostly used on computers and laptops. On smartphones, tablets PCs and gaming consoles, these types of protection against inappropriate content are scantly used. (KIM Study 2016, p.85) Computers are only used at school by a minority of children. Of those children who generally use computers, two fifths have used a computer at school at least once. If computers are used in schools, it is mostly in specialised education such as basic education in information technology (ITG). The PC is mostly used in school to write texts or words, online research ranks second. At home, most children use the PC as a tool of online research to do their homework; children write texts for school or use educational software using their home computer. (KIM Study 2016, p.85) When looking at the amount of time parents estimate their children to use media, it becomes apparent how important the television is: On an average day, 6 to 13-year-olds watch 88 minutes of television, use the internet for 39 minutes, play PC, console or online games for 32 minutes, listen to the radio for 28 minutes, read books for 22 minutes, play games on mobile phones or smartphones for 19 minutes, and games on tablets for seven minutes. (KIM Study 2016, p.85) The results of the KIM study 2016 show that in the age group of primary school children, watching television is still the media activity with most importance. Computer, internet, and smartphone start to gain in importance in daily life from the age of ten upwards, and after children start secondary education. After children turn ten, the repertoire of media devices they use expands quickly. Children then increasingly use computer, internet as well as smartphone to research and communicate. Even though more young children nowadays use the internet, technological parental control is not used by most parents. A possible reason for this is the unfamiliarity of parents with the possibilities on offer in this field. Some parents also do not see the need for this. Even though many children indicate that they use their computer at home for school, so far, a majority of schools do not offer practical guidance on how to use the computer and internet for school. This raises the question of who is providing children with criteria on how to structure as well as evaluate search engine results. Who shows children the potential of the internet as a medium for education and information, and who teaches them rules and borders for communication over the internet and smartphone? Most children make their first experiences with the internet at a primary school age. This phase offers a good moment to make children acquainted with the fundamentalsof this medium – before it turns into a medium of everyday life and, in the form of the smartphone, into an ever-present companion.(KIM Study 2016, p.86)

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