Growing access to mobile technology is propelling the use of such devices in the classroom, led partly by the increasing availability of Chromebooks, a new U.S. study finds.
According to a new survey of 2,500 year 12 teachers, 60 percent of teachers report that they have access to Chromebooks for their classroom work, up 15 percent over the past year, Ed Scoop reports. In the survey conducted by Front Row Education, it was found that access to iPads also remains high, with 64 percent of teachers saying they are able to use iPads in their classrooms, but that figure was down 5 percent from the prior year.
The study also found that the use of iPads and Chromebooks is diverging.
Teachers of younger students (Reception to year 2) reported using iPads more than Chromebooks (75 percent versus 54 percent respectively) while those teaching students in Years 6-8 preferred Chromebooks over iPads (66 percent versus 51 percent respectively).
The growing access to digital devices in the classroom overall, however, is helping to drive the broader use of technology in schools, the study concluded.
75 percent of teachers in the study reported using technology with their students every day. And three in five teachers said their use of technology would probably increase during the 2016-2017 academic year.
The largest factor driving the rise in technology use in the classroom is the increased access to devices, the study found. More than 50 percent of teachers in surveyed said they now have a 1:1 student-to-device ratio, up nearly 10 percent on last year.
Chromebooks’ relatively lower cost, compared to traditional laptops, and increasing broadband access at many U.S. schools, have helped propel the availability of devices.
But the study also noted that teachers reported seeing positive results using technology with their students.Front Row Education, which provides adaptive learning materials, said the factors teachers felt were most important in choosing educational software programs were how well they advanced a student’s learning and how easily it helped teachers gauge students’ progress.