Ten facts about K-12 students’ technology use

Twitter use has grown three-fold among high school students in the last year, with a third of high schoolers now using the popular micro-blogging service.

More than half of students in grades 6-8 now have access to a tablet computer—a percentage that has doubled since last year. And Twitter use has grown three-fold among high school students in the last year, with a third of high schoolers now using the popular micro-blogging service.

These are a few of the results that the nonprofit Project Tomorrow has released from its annual Speak Up survey of students’ and parents’ technology use, as well as their attitudes and opinions about ed tech.

Project Tomorrow will be issuing the full results of its Speak Up survey of students and parents in the next few weeks, but the organization released “Ten Things Everyone Should Know about K-12 Students’ Views on Digital Learning” earlier this month, in conjunction with Digital Learning Day. The findings come from Project Tomorrow’s survey of more than 364,000 students last fall.

Here are those 10 facts…

1. Students say they use the internet to help with homework at home. More than half of students in grades 6-12 say they do this at least weekly; for 29 percent of high school students, it is a daily event—and 68 percent say their primary internet access is through a 3G or 4G mobile device.

2. Students want to learn any time, any place—and at their own pace. Forty-one percent of students who have not taken a fully online class would like to take a virtual class; they see the No. 1 benefit as being able to learn at their own pace.

3. A majority of students support the “flipped classroom” model. Six out of 10 students say it would be a good way for them to learn.

4. A growing number of students are asking for digital texts—but print is still the preferred method of reading. One-third of students in grades 6-8 say their preference is to read a digital book for schoolwork; 44 percent of students say they want to read on a digital reader.

5. More students are learning via YouTube. Twenty-nine percent say they’ve used an online video to help them with their homework.

6. Students would like to be able to text their teachers for help. Thirty percent of students say that being able to text their teacher during class (and getting a personalized response) would help them be more successful in science.

7. Students are experiencing gaming at a younger age. Three-fourths of students in kindergarten through second grade are using computers and mobile devices to play educational games on a regular basis.

8. Use of Twitter is exploding among young people. Thirty-four percent of high school students are Twitter users now—a three-fold increase since 2011, when only 11 percent of students acknowledged tweeting as part of their social media profile.

9. Facebook is now a regular destination for group projects. Thirty-eight percent of students say that they regularly use Facebook to collaborate with classmates on school projects.

10. Students’ use of mobile devices continues to rise. Students’ personal access to mobile devices has reached several significant tipping points: 80 percent of students in grades 9-12, 65 percent of students in grades 6-8, and 45 percent of students in grades 3-5 are smart-phone users now. Middle school student tablet access doubled from 2011 to 2012, with 52 percent of those students now tablet-enabled.

Source: Speak Up 2012 National Research Project Findings—the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 364,240 K-12 students nationwide. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at www.tomorrow.org.

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