Category Archives: mobile devices

Flashback Friday: “10 Major Technology Trends in Education”

Happy Flashback Friday! Every Friday we focus on Speak Up data, articles, and press releases from the past. This week we’re looking at THE Journal’s article, “10 Major Technology Trends in Education” from February of this year, which features data from Speak Up 2013. Check out some of the major trends below:

  1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices
    • Students overwhelmingly have access to personal mobile devices. 89% of high school students have access to Internet-connected smart phones, while 50% of students in grades 3-5 have access to the same type of devices.
  2. Internet Connectivity
    • In 2013, 64% of students surveyed identified 3G- or 4G- enabled devices as their primary means of connecting to the Internet, with another 23% saying they connect through an Internet-enabled TV or Wii console.
    • When asked why traditional broadband access wasn’t their primary means of connectivity, students said there was less contention for access with other members of the family through these non-traditional devices
  3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework
    • Video is a tool that has been on the rise in recent years. 46% of teachers are using video i the classroom, while 1/3 of students are accessing video online – through their own initiative – to help with their homework (e.g. Khan Academy).
To view all the technology trends in education, read THE Journal’s article “10 Major Technology Trends in Education” and check out our official reports here.

Want to give your input as to what today’s technology trends in education are? Participate in Speak Up 2014!
Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

There’s still time to pick your panels for SXSWedu 2015!

We need your help! Julie Evans is featured in two proposals for SXSWedu 2015’s Panel Picker, where educators can cast their votes for the most compelling ideas and ultimately shape the conference line-up. Voting ends on September 5th so make sure to give our sessions a “thumbs up” before time is out – you’ll need to create a SXSW username and password if you don’t already have one, but the process is simple and free! Learn more about the sessions below:

  1. Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices
    • This panel brings together female change agents intentionally gathered from across the ed tech space to examine the unique role women play at this nexus of education and technology. Research has demonstrated that the today’s young girls and women need role models in technology fields to develop self-efficacy in these fields. Whether you are examining how to further your own voice, grow your PLN, or mentor the next great generation of female ed tech leaders, this is a “must attend” conversation.
    • Vote for this session here
  2. Learning My Way: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace
    • Giving students 24/7 access to learning materials can dramatically improve education outcomes as proven in 40+ pilot projects. However, data shows that up to 30% of U.S. households have no access to high-speed broadband at home, and in some districts it’s as high as 70%. This causes many students to power down after school. We need a viable solution to address the gaps for those students without access. Learn about new mobile-centric solutions to enable safe and affordable 24/7 learning.
    • Vote for this session here
Don’t forget – voting ends this Friday on September 5th!

Flashback Friday: The Challenge of Educating Today’s Digital Natives

Happy Flashback Friday! As part of our new blog series, Flashback Fridays will focus on previous Speak Up data, press releases, and articles. This week we’re highlighting IMS Global Learning Consortium’s article from March 2014, “The Challenge of Educating Today’s Digital Natives,” which features Julie Evans and highlights the challenges that educators face when working with students who are experts in digital technology. Check out an excerpt from the article below:

While all K-12 and college students today enjoy some familiarity with technology, Evans said their data shows that the leading edge of the truly digital native student today is at the 8th grade level. “What we’re seeing is that it’s the middle school students and younger that are actually more digitally native, not only more comfortable using technology, but that they are fully taking advantage of this technology to supplement their education. We’re seeing about a third of middle school students that tell us they are doing self-directed learning outside of school using some type of digital resource.”

 “… The perception that these students were coming to class every day as empty vessels and their teacher needed to fill them with wisdom was not the case,” said Evans.

Students are increasingly taking online classes to supplement their traditional classes – sometimes without their teachers even knowing. Furthermore, while schools and platform providers try to guess which devices are most popular among students, students are actually “very device agnostic. What is most important to them is to use the right tool for the right task.” Given this growth in students’ thirst for knowledge and growth in number of platforms that allow students to access that knowledge, educators and schools should be aware of how their students are adopting technology and should use that information to adapt to meet their educational needs.

As “digital natives,” students are experts in digital technology use and should be taken into consideration when schools are creating policies regarding technology. Our Speak Up 2014 surveys feature questions regarding students’ use of technology, such as the question:

Besides not having enough time in your school day, what are the major obstacles to using technology in your school?

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Launching a BYOD Program: Complicated Yet Rewarding

Launching a Bring Your Own Device program in schools can be both exciting and complicated. While the addition of technology in classrooms and homes is exhilarating, school districts may struggle with important details such as making sure each child owns a device, providing a strong Internet connection, and questions around distraction. Although each school has different problems regarding BYOD, it can be agreed that the inclusion of mobile technology in learning environments will help shift instruction to be more collaborative, learner-driven, and inquiry-based.

Forsyth County Schools in Georgia tackled their BYOD program struggles by creating a learner profile (a set of criteria the school district wanted students to learn in school) and by changing the culture surrounding devices. By creating a learner profile, Forsyth was able to guide schools within the district to focus on critical thinking skills, students’ readiness to compete in a global environment, and communication skills among other things. Furthermore, by changing the culture surrounding devices, the district was able to show students that mobile devices can be used for educational purposes and not just for texting and Facebook. The district has even incorporated social media into the classroom by introducing students to “back-channeling,” which is an ongoing conversation on social media about what students are watching; back-channeling enables teachers to see how students respond to the material before moving to the next lesson.

To read the full article for “How BYOD Programs Can Fuel Inquiry Learning” (Mind/shift), click here. Have experience implementing a BYOD program at your own school? Let us know in the comments section of this post!