Device Access Impacts Student Achievement

The U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress takes a look at how students and teachers are using computers for learning.

Device Access Impacts Student Achievement 

In 2015, most students reported that they had access to a computer at home or in school, but those without access scored lower on the United States Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress math and reading assessments.  This finding comes from the NAEP's 2015 math and reading assessment survey results that were published Sept. 17.

The NAEP is a continuing and nationally representative measure of academic trends in education conducted by the Department of Education through surveys. 

  • A range between 9 percent and 14 percent of students in grades 4 and 8 who took the math assessment and between 11 percent and 12 percent of students in grades 4 and 8 who took the reading assessment had no access to computers in school.
  • Students with access to computers at home range ranged from 74 percent to 94 percent at grade 4 and 77 percent to 97 percent at grade in the mathematics assessment across states and jurisdictions.
  • Among students under the National School Lunch Program, 76 percent of students had access to computers at home, and 91 percent had computer access in school. In comparison, 91 percent of students not eligible for NSLP had access to computers at home, and 92 percent had access in school.
  • When looking at schools by type, 94 percent of students at Catholic schools had computer access in the home compared to 83 percent of public schools and 86 percent of charter schools.

When it comes to using computers in the classroom, the survey found about 25 percent of fourth- and eighth-grade public school students reported that they used computers every day or almost every day in their math or reading classroom learning. The survey also found that classrooms using computers once or twice a week has risen 5 percentage points in math and 6 percentage points in reading classes since 2013.

The full results of the 2015 NAEP survey can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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