digital devices

Teachers may not be so hot on students’ use of digital devices for learning


Do teachers have a positive view of digital devices? The answer might surprise you

Despite educators’ views, most students own at least one device. The Gallup poll cites 2015 Pearson research showing that 53 percent of elementary school students, 65 percent of middle school students, and 82 percent of high school students own smartphones. Pew Research estimated in 2015 that more than two-thirds of teens have access to a smartphone.

Because so many students have their own devices, a growing number of schools allow students to use those devices for learning via bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives. Many schools and districts have focused on mobile device management strategies that help classroom teachers manage device distractions and keep students on task as they use smartphones, tablets, or laptops for learning. Schools also continue to grapple with cyberbullying and harassment occuring online and through social media.

When the results are broken down by grade level, 48 percent of K-8 teachers compared to 36 percent of grades 9-12 teachers say they think students’ devices are mostly helpful.

Younger teachers tend to view digital devices as more helpful to students’ education, according to the survey results. Fifty-one percent of teachers younger than 40 say devices are “mostly helpful” to students’ education, compared with 36 percent of teachers 40 or older who agree. Twenty-two percent of teachers younger than 40 say digital devices are mostly harmful to students’ education, while 32 percent of teachers ages 40 or older say the same.

The Gallup poll surveyed 497 K-12 teachers in the U.S.

Laura Ascione

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