Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Poll: China is Ahead of the U.S. and Germany in Use of Technology in Learning

# Chinese students in major cities say they spend more time using technology in school than American and German students

# Global poll respondents believe that technology gives students a more personalized experience that they value, but technology needs are not being met in schools today

# Teachers feel less comfortable using new technologies and social media than their students and want more professional development

Students, teachers and parents say that technology needs are not being met in school today, according to an opinion poll commissioned by Dell. Supporting respondents believe technology makes learning easier, makes teachers more accessible and can give students a personalized learning experience.

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.

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