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Report: Students Lack Wireless Access to Digital Learning Resources at School

Students have better wireless access to the Internet at home than at school, according to a report conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Pearson.

The Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2014 collected responses from 2,252 K-12 students between February 13 and March 12, 2014. It found that while 93 percent of students have wireless access to the Internet at home, only 62 percent have Wi-Fi at school, limiting their access to digital learning resources for personalized instruction.

Other findings from the survey:

  • The majority of students said they would like to use mobile devices in the classroom more often than they do now (71 percent of elementary, 67 percent of middle and 56 percent of high school students);
  • 51 percent of students surveyed indicated they think it's important for their schools to provide them with a laptop on a 1-to-1 basis, and 43 percent said they would like a tablet on a 1-to-1 basis;
  • 1 in 6 students attend a school where laptops or tablets are provided on a 1-to-1 basis;
  • 61 percent of middle and 71 percent of high school students said they need to be connected to the Internet at school at least twice a week to do their school work, and 26 percent of middle and 34 percent of high school students said they need to be connected daily;
  • Tablet usage is increasing, with 66 percent of elementary, 58 percent of middle school and 42 percent of high school students using tablets, compared to 52 percent, 43 percent and 33 percent last year, respectively; and
  • Smartphone usage is also increasing, with 44 percent of elementary, 58 percent of middle school and 75 percent of high school students using smartphones regularly, compared to 35 percent, 47 percent and 60 percent last year, respectively.

The report examines student attitudes towards mobile devices, student mobile device ownership, student mobile device usage for school work and at school, Internet usage at school and future usage of mobile devices.Survey respondents included 501 elementary school, 750 middle school and 1,001 high school students.

The full report is available as a free PDF download from Pearson's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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