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Thursday, April 17, 2014

More Digital Tools for K-12 Students

Use of technology tools in K-12 classrooms continues to grow steadily, according to the latest Speak Up survey conducted by Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization supporting educational preparedness. In general, researchers assume students accustomed to these tools in grade school will also expect to use them when they head off to college.

The 2014 survey, which captured data on 325,279 students in more than 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts throughout the U.S., focused on how digital tools and resources were being used to support learning activities both in the classroom and out of school.

The survey report said 75% of high schoolers (grades 9-12) access class information through an online portal and 52% take tests online. Some 37% have used online textbooks in the classroom and 22% have watched videos created by their teachers.

At home, the majority of high school students have access to at least one mobile device: smartphone (89%), laptop (66%), tablet (50%), or digital reader (39%). Federal programs designed to level out digital access between haves and have-nots seem to be having an impact. Among high schools that receive federal aid for low-income students, more than 25% issue tablets to each student for homework, compared to just 13% at high schools not receiving aid.

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