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10 Major Technology Trends in Education
We have a first look at the results from the latest Speak Up survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, administrators, parents and community members about technology trends in education.
According to the latest data, video for homework is on the rise; mobile computing is "beyond the tipping point"; and most kids don't use traditional computers to connect to the Internet at home. Those are just three of the major trends revealed in the 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow, which CEO Julie Evans revealed at the FETC 2014 conference last week.
The 2013 results represent more than 400,000 surveys from 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the country. Respondents included 325,279 students, 32,151 teachers and librarians, 39,986 parents, 4,530 district administrators and, new to this year’s survey, 1,346 community members.
1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices
According to the 2013 results, students overwhelmingly have access to personal mobile devices. “If there was any doubt in our mind that we were beyond the tipping point in terms of kids carrying a computer in their pocket, backpack or purse,” she said, “we’re there.”
Specifically, said Evans, 89 percent of high schools students have access to Internet-connected smart phones, while 50 percent of students in grades 3 through 5 have access to the same type of devices. High school student access to tablets tops out at 50 percent and laptops come in at 60 percent. In addition to personal access, the survey found about a third of students have access to a device (typically laptops or tablets) in their school.
2. Internet Connectivity
For Evans, this was an interesting set of statistics showing the ways students generally connect to the Internet when at home. According to the study, 64 percent of students surveyed identify 3G- or 4G-enabled devices as their primary means of connecting to the Internet, with another 23 percent saying they connect through an Internet-enabled TV or Wii console. When asked why traditional broadband access wasn’t their primary means of connectivity, students said there was less contention for access with other members of the family through these non-traditional devices.
3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework
Video is another tool that has been on the rise in recent years. While her presentation focused on students, Evans noted that 46 percent of teachers are using video in in the classroom.
One-third of students are accessing video online — through their own initiative — to help with their homework. Evans called this the “Khan Academy effect.” Additionally, 23 percent of students are accessing video created by their teachers.
4. Mobile Devices for Schoolwork
According to the 2013 results, students are leveraging mobile devices both to be more efficient in their day-to-day tasks and to transform their own learning processes.
Sixty percent of students are using mobile devices for anytime research, 43 percent for educational games and 40 percent for collaboration with their peers. Thirty-three percent of students surveyed use mobile devices for reminders and alerts related to their academic lives, 24 percent for taking photos of their assignments, and 18 percent for in-class polling.
Surprisingly, said Evans, 12 percent of the students responding said they use mobile devices to text questions to their instructors while in the classroom. “I do wonder,” she added, “how many of the teachers are responding to those texts.”
5. Using Different Tools for Different Tasks
Evans admitted, with the proliferation of so many tools, it isn’t surprising students are designing “best-fit” solutions for their very specific needs.
Rather than using one or even a few platforms for various tasks, students are increasingly savvy about taking advantage of the benefits of the tools available.