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Parents are often responsible for finding, selecting, and facilitating their children's out-of-school learning experiences. One might expect that the recent surge in online educational tools and the vast online network of information about informal learning would make this easier for all parents. Instead, the increase in these free, accessible resources is contributing to an inequality of use between children from lower and higher socio-economic status (SES). Through over 60 interviews with a diverse group of parents, we explored parents' ability to find learning opportunities and their role in facilitating educational experiences for their children. We identified differences in the use of online social networks in finding learning opportunities for their children based on SES. Building upon these findings, we conducted a national survey in partnership with ACT, an educational testing services organization, to understand if these differences were generalizable to and consistent among a broader audience.


Published by ACM in the Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, on May 07, 2016, and can be accessed at