CAMBRIDGE, MA – Sept. 6, 2012 – Bob Dylan’s lyrics, “The times, they are a-changin’,” have never been more appropriate then they are right now. Just a few years ago, the notion of using a smartphone as a legitimate learning tool seemed improbable, if not out and out foolish. Students, in most cases were either prohibited from bringing their mobile phones to school, or at the very least told to leave them in their lockers or turned off and stored in their backpacks during school hours. However, according to a recent survey conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight research services for Mimio, what many students are going to hear is, “Class turn on your mobile phone, it’s time to learn.”
The nine-question survey polled more than 150 educational professionals, including school district technology, instructional media services, and curriculum directors, coordinators and specialists. Respondents were asked the impact that consumer technology devices and bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) initiatives were likely to have on future interactive classroom planning and purchases.
Sixty-six percent of poll respondents indicated their district currently allow the use of consumer mobile devices like iPads, 69 percent use district-purchased classroom-specific devices like classroom response systems and only 18 percent use student-owned mobile devices such as smartphones or laptops. But over 44 percent of the respondents plan to move to student-owned or BYOT devices within the next three years.
“This is an exciting time in K-12 education; educators are not only realizing the importance of bringing schools into the 21st century by finding smart ways to integrate technology and software into the learning process, but they are actively embracing the combining of BYOT and adaptive instructional software,” said Manny Perez, general manager at Mimio. “What was once an idea on how to fuse consumer devices in the classroom, is now becoming a reality.”
Those surveyed were also asked how the consumer (district- or student-owned) mobile devices are used in classrooms, selecting as many options as applied. Fifty-six percent indicated the devices were used for research, reference, and note taking while 47 percent used the devices with school- or district-approved software for instruction or assessment.
When asked how consumer (district- or student-owned) mobile devices are affecting technology purchase plans for each of the following – student device technology purchases, wireless infrastructure, or classroom technology purchases – plans for wireless infrastructure showed the strongest positive purchase impact at 74 percent. Plans for classroom technology showed a somewhat strong positive purchase impact at 51 percent.
“It’s relatively straightforward to conclude that the greatest impact on purchase plans for wireless infrastructure have to do with the need for greater network capacity and bandwidth to support consumer mobile devices.” added Perez.
When asked to think forward one to three years and indicate what impact the integration of consumer mobile devices (district- or student-owned) will have on the use of certain technologies like interactive whiteboards, document cameras, classroom response devices, adaptive instructional software and adaptive assessment software, 75 percent of respondents thought adaptive instructional software would see increased use.
The survey takers were also asked about the issues they saw as standing in the way of greater use of student-owned devices in classrooms. Eighty percent cited training on the effective classroom use of the devices as their primary concern.
Perez continued, “Amidst this mobile revolution, it’s important that we also support our teachers so they aren’t applying old pedagogy to new technology. The penetration of mobile devices in schools and districts is moving at a very rapid pace. And why not let students use the tech tools they’re already familiar with to enhance their learning? But for everyone to thrive, we need to figure out the best way of integrating classroom technologies, adaptive curriculum solutions, and mobile devices.”
Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies that offer a better way to learn and an empowering way to teach. As part of Newell Rubbermaid’s global portfolio of leading brands, Mimio designs innovative, affordable educational technologies and solutions to increase effectiveness and engagement in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit mimio.com. Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Mimio.Technology
MDR is the leading U.S. provider of education marketing information and services. MDR’s EdNET Insight is the K–12 education industry’s premier information and consulting service, combining the proven power of research and analysis with recognized industry experts to deliver an insightful, comprehensive view of the trends and influences that are shaping the education market today—and tomorrow. For more information on EdNET Insight, go to www.schooldata.com/mdrednetinsight.asp
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