As part of our major effort to move our Future Ready Vision forward, we administered an online survey to students in grades 4-12. As of this past Friday, 79% had completed the survey. Several remaining classrooms will do so this week.
The final question on the survey asked students to choose from a list of technology learning activities they would like to be part of in the future. These were based on a growing technology trend in schools across the country as part of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and computer science learning.
Here is a quick snapshot of the aggregate results for this question:
- 52.1% want to create an app for a computer, tablet or smartphone
- 52.0% want to use a 3D printer to create things
- 40.6% would like to use a computer to produce a video
- 38.3% want to build and then program a robot
- 32.8% want to learn how to build a computer
- 29.1% want to use a device to connect with another classroom in another state or foreign country
- 23.0% would like to take an online class
- 22.2% want to learn how to write code for computers
- 16.4% want to write a computer program
Most notably, learning to create an app and using a 3D printer ranked highest in all grade levels surveyed, as well as between male and female student returns. It may demonstrate that students want our technology offerings, whether as independent courses or embedded within existing offerings, to be more relevant to their needs as well as their desire to use technology to create new things. In other words, they don’t want courses that just teach them how to use applications (office software, etc) but instead puts them on the leading edge of creating apps themselves.
Another result from the survey data shows that more than four out of five students can connect to the Internet at home: 72.8% have Internet access in their home with a computer or tablet device (this was reported even higher at the high school level – 82.7%), and another 15.2% access it through their smartphone. This may validate that despite a high percentage of low income households in the district (95% free-or-reduced lunch and 38% federal poverty), access to the Internet has become much more common just as the telephone, radio and television once did. The growth of Internet access may also be tied to our promoting of Comcast’s low-cost Internet Essentials over the past several years.
Another interesting point was how students claim they typically respond to new emerging forms of technology. The question asked to choose from three statements with the results indicating most choose to take a “watch and see” approach rather than run right out and try the newest gadget or gizmo:
- I usually wait until I see others try new technology, and then I will try it myself – 51.4%
- I usually wait a long time to try new technology – 31.9%
- Whenever a new electronic device or gadget comes out, I am among the first people to check it out – 16.6%
When asked about the preference in using mobile devices at school (data phone, laptop or tablet computer), a majority of students in each grade level from 4th through the 9th grade indicated they “would like to use mobile devices more often in my class.” Those choosing this response ranged from a low of 50% of 4th graders to a high of 71.3% of 8th graders. Within the three senior high grades, 50% of students felt they were “using mobile devices at the right amount in class” while 39% want to use them more often. Over all grade levels, about 11% of students would like to use mobile devices “less in class.”
We’ll be putting together a complete report on all of the findings and sharing them with you in the very near future. We’ll also be summarizing a recent teacher survey centered around the key points of our Future Ready pledge. Together, this feedback provided by both groups will prove very valuable towards our future ready vision.