Speak Up Survey Looks at Efficacy of Digital Learning Initiatives

The results are in from the latest Speak Up survey from Project Tomorrow, which looked at trends in mobile device use and blended learning this year and their relation to education equity. According to the survey, nearly half of teachers (47 percent) said their students have regular access to mobile devices in their classrooms. Among high school students, 58 percent said they now use their own mobile device at school to support learning activities. Among students using mobile devices provided by their schools, half (51 percent of high school students and 46 percent of middle school students) say that their out of school internet connectivity is through a mobile data plan, but there are still students who report no regular access to technology in schools: 13 percent of high school students and 21 percent of middle school students.

Key Findings

  • Whether driven by parental demands for increased personalization or higher goals for student achievement, many administrators are finding that blended learning environments hold great promise. In fact, 45 percent of district administrators in this year’s Speak Up surveys indicate that the implementation of blended learning models within their district was already yielding positive results.
  • Students in blended environments use technology more frequently than their peers in more traditional classroom settings. In addition to use in the classroom, these students are also more likely to self-direct their learning outside of school by tapping into mobile apps, finding online videos to help with homework, emailing their teachers with questions and posting content they create online for comment.
  • The availability of online learning continues to increase with only 27 percent of high school principals reporting that they are not yet offering any online courses for students.
  • Almost three-quarters of students with school-provided devices as well as students with limited or non-existent technology access at school agreed that every student should be able to use a mobile device during the school day for learning.
  • A gender bias exists in STEM interest –middle school girls are 38% less likely and high school girls are 32% less likely than their male peers to say they are very interested in a STEM career.

Access the 2015 Speak Up survey report Digital Learning 24/7: Understanding Technology – Enhanced Learning in the Lives of Today’s Students.

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Digital Issues