“This change in the student perception of the obstacles that prevent or inhibit them from using technology at school is very telling,“ said Evans. “In 2003, it was all about the access to school provided tools.  In 2012 it is about having access to their personally acquired tools and resources.”

Other noteworthy findings from the 2012 student report include:

  • While only 21 percent of teachers in middle and high schools are assigning internet homework on a weekly basis, 69 percent of high school seniors, 61 percent of high school freshman and 47 percent of 6th graders are online at least weekly to find resources to support their homework.
  • In just one year, the number of middle school students with a personally acquired, digital reader more than doubled from 17 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2012.
  • In fall 2011, 26 percent of students in grades 6-8 said that they had a personal tablet computer. In one year’s time, the percentage of middle school students with tablets jumped to 52 percent, a doubling over the 2011 percentage.

Despite this increase of mobile devices in the hands of students, schools are still reluctant to allow them. Among high school students with smart phones, only half say they can use their device at school and only nine percent of students say they can use their personal tablets at school. With 73 percent of high school seniors saying they have a laptop, only 18 percent of the Class of 2013 say they are allowed to use their personal laptop at school.

Speak Up has surveyed more than 3 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders and district administrators since the fall of 2003.

In fall 2012, Project Tomorrow surveyed 364,240 K-12 students, 39,713 parents, 53,947 teachers, 2,399 librarians,1,564 district administrators, 3,947 school administrators, and 500 technology leaders representing 8,020 public and private schools from 2,431 districts.