Posted by: crudbasher | April 5, 2011

The Revolution Cometh

“You say you want a revolution” – The Beatles

(cc) Jason L. Parks

I came across this study where they ask K-12 kids about technology in schools. What I found the most interesting is the students seem to want to use their cell phones in school much more than the administrators want them to. Even 20% of kindergärtners through second grade had cell phones! That’s crazy.

Also interesting was 67% of parent surveyed said they would buy a smart phone for their kid if they were allowed to use them.

For a long time I have maintained that in a short time every student will show up to school with a smart phone. Considering that smart phone have been around for less than 5 years I think we are making rapid progress towards that time.

So let’s speculate for a moment. Let’s say that Apple created a simple version of their iPhone and makes it really cheap. Let’s also say that a cell company like Verizon comes up with a special back to school deal where they provide a really cheap data plan for students. Poof! Over the summer, all of a sudden practically every student has a smart phone.

Then the school year starts again. What happens on that day? What does the teacher do?

Smart phones are the disruptive technology necessary to revolutionize  learning.

  • Study about tech use in the classroom

    tags: education technology smartphones study nell

    • iPads. Interactive Whiteboards. Netbooks. Video games. Although educational technologies are being implemented more and more in classrooms across the country, we don’t often stop and ask students – or their parents – what they think their technology needs are. But the newly-released Speak Up 2010 survey has done just that.


    • The project surveyed almost 300,000 students (along with 43,000 parents, 35,000 teachers, 2000 librarians and 3500 administrators) from over 6500 private and public schools last fall about how they’re using – and how they want to be using – technology for learning.


    • The study found that 20% of kindergarten through second graders said they owned cellphones. 29% of third through fifth graders do. 51% of middle schoolers and 56% of high schoolers do. Smart-phone usage among these age groups is increasingly common too. 34% of middle school and 44% of high school students reported being smart-phone owners.


    • The majority of parents surveyed – 67% – said that they were willing to buy their children a mobile device for school if the schools allowed it, and parents seemed particularly interested in their children using these devices in order to access online textbooks.


    • Despite students’ and parents’ interest, administrators in the survey were not supportive of cellphones in the classroom. “When we asked administrators about the likelihood of them allowing their students to use their own mobile devices for instructional purposes at school this year, a resounding 65% of principals said “no way!”


    • Despite the national emphasis on increased use of digital tools and online learning, students say they continue to be frustrated by their access to technology at school. When a similar survey was undertaken five years ago, students’ number one complaint was the speed of Internet access at school. Now, they point instead to school filters and firewalls. 71% of high school students and 62% of middle school students say that the most important thing their school could do to make it easier for them to use technology would be to allow them greater access to the websites they need.


    • 74% of high school teachers, 72% of high school principals, and 62% of parents of high school age children said yes, they thought their school was doing a good job using technology to enhance learning and/or student achievement.

      Only 47% of high school students agreed.



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. Sometime I would like you to address the concerns of the administration. You say they say “no way” to smart phone usage. What are their reasons? I think number one would be that students would nit be using the smart phones for the things you want them too. I teach. When allowed to use their phones, they spend their time texting and Facebooking. Would you please address that or point us in the direction for people who do?

    • Hey Michelle, great point. My post today is my answer of what I would do in that situation. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. […] I speculated about a series of events where every student in a classroom would show up on the first day of class with a smartphone. I asked what would teachers do on that day. One of the commenters on that post […]

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