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Ten Things Everyone Should Know about K-12 Students’ Digital Learning, 2017

Students Speak Up on Technology & Learning


Infographic Text:

  1. The next step: self-directed mobile learning
    • 2x as many students w/Chromebooks now vs. 2014
    • Students are using mobile devices to self-direct learning: doing research on the Internet (84%), looking up class info (54%), creating shareable docs (49%), emailing teachers questions (41%), setting due date reminders (39%) and taking notes (39 %)
  2. Changing rules re: tech at school
    • In 2011, 50% of students said they couldn’t access social media at school. Today, only 38% have the same complaint.
    • In 2011, 32% of students said school Internet was too slow; 53% say that is a big problem now!
    • No change here: 42% of students say too many rules at school limit tech use.
  3. A new generational divide – among students
    • 37% of students in grades 6-8 say they are playing online or digital games for learning purposes at least weekly; only ¼ of high school students say the same.
    • Top benefit of learning games: “They challenge me to think more than other class activities!
  4. Learning online sounds great!
    • Middle school students are very interested in online learning. Top wish list for online classes: study skills (58%), art appreciation (58%), world languages (56%), career tech ed (51%) and computer science (47%).
  5. Getting the news – the student way
    • Most often: Use a mobile app to get news alerts. Least often: Read a print news story. 
    • Action needed: only 41% of students say they know how to detect bias in what they read online or evaluate information accuracy.
  6. All-purpose study guide: The Internet
    • 79% of high school students use the Internet at least once a week to support homework and school assignments (48% use it daily) …. even though only 14% of teachers say they are assigning Internet-dependent homework weekly.
    • Where are students going online? At home (79%), campus before/after hours (50%), fast food or coffee shop (28%) and public library (20%).
  7. Student-teacher conference
    • 2/3rds of students say teachers should just talk to them in class; only 28% said a text is best. Hurrah for real-time communications!
  8. Coding for the future
    • Majority of students are interested in coding, but boys lead the pack on interest. 66% of boys and 58% of girls in grades 3-8 want to learn to code. By high school only 50% of girls say the same!
    • 13% of elementary students say they are already coding!
  9. Goodbye, summer camp! Hello, online video!
    • More than 1/3 of students say they want to learn about future jobs and careers via online courses, digital games, online videos and social media.
    • Decreasing in interest: Summer camps, after school programs and student competitions.
  10. Tech x learning = my future
      Students say…
    • learning how to use technology is important for my future (51%).
    • learning using technology results in college and career ready skills like creativity (46%), collaboration (48%) and problem solving (41%)
    • they use technology more often for learning outside of school than in school (56%).

Source: Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, 2016 Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 435,510 K-12 students from around the world. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow, a global nonprofit organization. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.

Speak Up is generously underwritten this year by the following innovative companies

Apex Learning Blackboard Brain Pop Dreambox Qualcomm Wireless Reach Rosetta Stone Scholastic