In nearly 1,600 interviews with students, teachers and parents in China, Germany and the U.S., 71 percent of students said they have access to more advanced technology at home than they do at school. Parents said they would be willing to provide the technology their kids use at school, but believe they should have a stipend for the purchase. Despite this, a majority of students surveyed (51 percent) feel technology can serve as more of a distraction rather than an enabler. But they also said the benefits of technology to learning outweigh the potential distractions. This stands in contrast to parents and teachers who believe there should be more technology in the classroom, even though a majority of teachers, including 63 percent in the U.S., say their students know how to use technology better than they do.
Respondents view a personalized approach to learning as the most effective approach to education. Eighty-three percent said technology allows them to create a more personalized learning experience. However, most students in the U.S. and Germany indicate they spend two hours per day or less using technology at school, highlighting an opportunity to integrate technology into more curriculum areas and provide professional learning for teachers to achieve truly differentiated instruction.
Highlights from the Dell Education Poll
- Who is using technology at school most and for what?Chinese students in major cities say they spend more time using technology in school than American and German students. In China cities, respondents say technology is integrated into more curriculum areas than in the U.S. or Germany where respondents say technology is most often used for research. Without this integration, technology in the classroom can be a distraction. According to Dell, this highlights an opportunity to more effectively and broadly integrate technology into learning in the U.S. and Germany.
- Are teachers knowledgeable about technology?Many teachers in the U.S. and Germany said they don’t receive enough professional development opportunities focused on technology. Their students agree. Only 40 percent of students in the U.S. and 26 percent in Germany say their teachers know how to use technology better than they do. This suggests an opportunity for increasing and improving professional development opportunities for teachers to more effectively use technology in learning in and out of the classroom.
- Is there a place for social media in the classroom?Social media is playing an increasing role in the classroom according to respondents. One in four students say they access social media in the classroom on a daily basis. However, most teachers in the U.S. and Germany say they never access social media in the classroom. Chinese respondents are the most positive about the prospect of using social media in the classroom. Approximately six in 10 U.S. respondents say they disapprove of students using social media in the classroom to share what they are learning, while most respondents in China say they would approve of social media for this purpose. This demonstrates a growing need to find a role for social media in learning.
- How is technology bridging between home, school and life?Just half of students say they interact with their school online outside of school. Most students in Germany indicate they do not interact with their school online, while a majority of Chinese students say they do. However, students report that they use technology at home for school work more than any other activity, indicating an opportunity for more collaboration between home and school.
- Are parents willing to pay more so their children can have access to technology?Most respondents said parents should receive stipends to ensure their children have up to date technology for educational purposes. Additionally, parents across Germany, China and the U.S. said they would be willing to pay for the technology their children use in the classroom.