Survey reveals need for tech skills in college, workforce

Students say they need tech skills for the future, but most high schools don't deliver.

A new survey reinforces the concern that while students must have technology skills to succeed as they enter college and the workforce, their schools are not meeting this important need.

The second annual 21st Century Classroom Report from CDW-G reveals that 94 percent of students said learning and mastering technology skills will improve their educational and career opportunities, and 97 percent of school faculty agreed. But in spite of those results, only 39 percent of students said their high schools meet those technology expectations with technology in the classroom.

Eighty-six percent of students note that they use more technology outside the classroom than inside.  Nearly all surveyed students (94 percent) said they use technology to complete homework assignments, but just 46 percent of faculty said they regularly assign homework that requires the use of technology.

More districts are turning to digital content as an essential part of their classroom instruction. Eleven percent of districts are using digital content as an alternative to traditional print textbooks, and 62 percent of IT staff said their districts are considering using digital content.  Nearly three-quarters of faculty noted that digital content is essential because of its ability to provide faculty and students with better access to updated information.

This year’s survey also found that 64 percent of IT staff said the technology at their high schools is cutting edge or current, up from 41 percent in 2010.

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