Last school year we teamed up with our friends at Qualcomm at Alvin Dunn Elementary School in San Marcos, California, to launch a tablet program to study and close the “homework gap” – a term coined by the FCC to describe the problem that students face when they are unable to complete schoolwork due to lack of Internet access at home. Through this study, participating students received tablets with data plans – a transformative experience for those affected by the homework gap. Yesterday our study was featured on WIRED – check out the preliminary data that was featured in the article:
- Among the students who were previously affected by the homework gap, 96 percent said having at-home access made them better learners.
- 84 percent of all the students surveyed said they were using the device to write papers and complete homework assignments at home.
- After receiving tablets with data plans, students reported increases in confidence and collaboration with their peers.
- More than half of the students said home Internet access has made them more interested in what they were learning.
For Julie Evans, this data isn’t surprising – there have been similar impacts in schools across the country that have provided students Internet access at home. “At-home access facilitates the opportunity to be self-directed learners, and to take what they’re learning in school and extend it,” Evans says. “The idea of instilling in these students a desire for lifelong learning, and the resourcefulness to know how to go pursue that is something that transcends just learning algebra.”
With the homework gap becoming increasingly relevant, it’s interesting to see what connectivity can do for students. Interested in learning more about our study with Qualcomm? Read the article on WIRED, “Schoolkids Don’t Just Need iPads. They Need Data Plans” by Issie Lapowsky.
This year our Speak Up surveys feature questions about the homework gap. Is your school or district working to close the homework gap? Let us know by participating in Speak Up 2015 – open from October 1st through December 18th, 2015. Click here to register.