An awful lot of grade-schoolers have access to computers and mobile devices these days, and with that comes the availability of the web and social networks. Many kids think electronic media should be used far more often for classroom lessons and homework, according to the Speak Up 2014 national research project findings released to Congress April 30.
The latest iteration of the annual survey, conducted by Project Tomorrow last fall, captured the thoughts of 431,231 students in grades K-12 nationwide. Three-quarters of the respondents said all students should be able to tap into some sort of mobile device during the school day. Some 58% are already using their own smartphone for classwork (and quite a few students have personal access to smartphones, even 46% of youngsters in grades three to five).
Not surprisingly, students are very enthusiastic about gaming and videos in class. About two-thirds think games hold their interest longer and help them to master complicated concepts. They often seek out videos online to assist with homework, especially teens.
In the 2011 Speak Up survey, only 11% of high school students were active on Twitter but now almost half of them are tweeting. Many still connect through Facebook, however, an increasing number are drawn to social sites that allow them to create and share their own content. Half of students—both boys and girls—would welcome a class in coding so they could develop web-based content by themselves.