From the moment the first desktop computer appeared in schools, proponents of educational technology have been churning out research to justify continued investment in proven tools for teaching and learning.
Technology providers and third-party researchers have spent gobs of money on studies that aim to quantify the impact of a technology-rich education on student success. Have test scores improved? How many more students today attend college and go on to land high-paying jobs as a result of their exposure to technology in school? What kinds of tools and services have a profound influence on student learning?
The questions are endless. So, too, is the body of research that attempts to answer those questions. Beyond the myriad charts and graphs and quantitative analyses, one stark and mitigating factor stands out: Students and, more important, parents (aka taxpayers) are overwhelmingly in favor of schools’ continued use of technology in education, particularly the ability to personalize learning to the needs of individual students.
Earlier this year, Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit education group based in California, released the results of its annual Speak Up survey, an online survey that this year polled more than 416,000 students, parents, teachers and educators about technology’s impact on education in the nation’s schools. We first covered the release of the study last month, when Education Week published an infographic highlighting some of the report’s most salient points. Recently, while researching a story about personalized learning, one of our editors came across a second graphic, this one from Project Tomorrow, that I just couldn’t resist sharing. Ready for round two? Consider the following:
- 47 percent of students in grades six through eight say they have not yet taken an online course, but they want to.
- 62 percent of parents say they’d be willing to buy their child a personal mobile device if their schools agreed to use it in the classroom for learning purposes.
- If they could design their own school, more than 50 percent of parents say e-Textbooks would be essential; more than 70 percent of students say ubiquitous Internet access would be the most essential element.
- 21 percent of third- through fifth-grade students have personal smartphones.
- More than one in three parents say they would recommend online classes as a means of improving student performance.