Students, teachers and parents say that technology needs are not being met in school today, according to an opinion poll commissioned by Dell. Supporting respondents believe technology makes learning easier, makes teachers more accessible and can give students a personalized learning experience. Dell today issued the Dell Education Challenge to university students worldwide, asking for their inspiration, imagination and innovation to re-engineer today’s learning environments, both in and outside of the classroom.
“We heard from secondary school and university students, parents and teachers that they are familiar and comfortable with technology, but don’t think it’s playing as large a role in the classroom as it should,” said Steve Felice, Dell’s president and chief commercial officer. “Adults would like to see technology more integrated into learning. And, perhaps most importantly, many teachers do not feel as comfortable as their students do in using technology.”
In nearly 1,600 interviews with students, teachers and parents in China, Germany and the U.S., 71 percent of students said they have access to more advanced technology at home than they do at school. Parents said they would be willing to provide the technology their kids use at school, but believe they should have a stipend for the purchase. Despite this, a majority of students surveyed (51 percent) feel technology can serve as more of a distraction rather than an enabler. But they also said the benefits of technology to learning outweigh the potential distractions. This stands in contrast to parents and teachers who believe there should be more technology in the classroom, even though a majority of teachers, including 63 percent in the U.S., say their students know how to use technology better than they do.
Respondents view a personalized approach to learning as the most effective approach to education. Eighty-three percent said technology allows them to create a more personalized learning experience. However, most students in the U.S. and Germany indicate they spend two hours per day or less using technology at school, highlighting an opportunity to integrate technology into more curriculum areas and provide professional learning for teachers to achieve truly differentiated instruction.
“What we are seeing is that people around the world are increasingly understanding that digital learning will be critical to boosting every child’s achievement,” said Michael Horn, Innosight Institute’s executive director. “To unleash the power of technology, the important thing is to build new educational models or leverage existing proof points that allow us to rethink how school works and put the individual student at the center.
Dell Education Challenge to Support and Fund Innovative Learning Approaches
Dell is asking university students, the most recent participants in today’s education system, to help develop solutions to today’s biggest issues in education, including those identified in the poll. Continuing its commitment to inspiring innovation, the Dell Education Challenge is a spotlight challenge extending the partnership with the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC), managed by The University of Texas at Austin.
The Dell Education Challenge will identify and invest $30,000 in promising projects by university students working to transform and innovate learning in today’s primary/K-12 schools. Solutions can address in-school or out-of-school learning, the learning environment for both students or educators, or systemic issues with infrastructure, policy or administration.
Dell will provide students who submit ideas with access to a global community that provides valuable feedback and encouragement on their projects to help make their ideas a reality.
Twenty semi-finalists will receive one-on-one mentoring from a DSIC-certified mentor to perfect their pitches. Finalists will be invited to Dell World this December to compete live in front of our judges for cash awards and support to advance their educational innovation.
Highlights from the Dell Education Poll
•Who is using technology at school most and for what? Chinese students in major cities say they spend more time using technology in school than American and German students. In China cities, respondents say technology is integrated into more curriculum areas than in the U.S. or Germany where respondents say technology is most often used for research. Without this integration, technology in the classroom can be a distraction. According to Dell, this highlights an opportunity to more effectively and broadly integrate technology into learning in the U.S. and Germany.
•Are teachers knowledgeable about technology? Many teachers in the U.S. and Germany said they don’t receive enough professional development opportunities focused on technology. Their students agree. Only 40 percent of students in the U.S. and 26 percent in Germany say their teachers know how to use technology better than they do. This suggests an opportunity for increasing and improving professional development opportunities for teachers to more effectively use technology in learning in and out of the classroom.
•Is there a place for social media in the classroom? Social media is playing an increasing role in the classroom according to respondents. One in four students say they access social media in the classroom on a daily basis. However, most teachers in the U.S. and Germany say they never access social media in the classroom. Chinese respondents are the most positive about the prospect of using social media in the classroom. Approximately six in 10 U.S. respondents say they disapprove of students using social media in the classroom to share what they are learning, while most respondents in China say they would approve of social media for this purpose. This demonstrates a growing need to find a role for social media in learning.
•How is technology bridging between home, school and life? Just half of students say they interact with their school online outside of school. Most students in Germany indicate they do not interact with their school online, while a majority of Chinese students say they do. However, students report that they use technology at home for school work more than any other activity, indicating an opportunity for more collaboration between home and school.
•Are parents willing to pay more so their children can have access to technology? Most respondents said parents should receive stipends to ensure their children have up to date technology for educational purposes. Additionally, parents across Germany, China and the U.S. said they would be willing to pay for the technology their children use in the classroom.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is committed to helping students develop the knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed in an increasingly digital world and a globally competitive workforce. As a top provider of technology and services to schools, Dell listens to and works with students, educators, administrators, parents and community members around the world to deliver innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more in and out of the classroom. Learn more about Dell in Education at www.dell.com. Follow us on Twitter @DellEDU.