10 Things Everyone Should Know About K-12 Students’ Views of Digital Learning

Recently I was reading an article in Phi Delta Kappan about how students view digital learning in a much different way than do most experienced educators.  While I must confess, I was not reading a digital copy of the article, I found the student views arresting.

© 2009 Marco Antonio Torres. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#32).

© 2009 Marco Antonio Torres. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#32).

Data from a 2012 National Research Project surveying nearly 365,000 K-12 students was included in the article.  Here is the ten-point summary of that data:

#10  Students are mobilists! Student personal access to mobile devices has reached significant tipping points:  Grades 9-12= 80%; grades 6-8 = 65%; grades 3-5 = 45%

#9  Where do kids do school group projects in 2013?  38% say they regularly use Facebook

#8  Tweet-tweet?  Presently 34% of high school students are Twitter users (three-fold increase in last two years)

#7  Who is today’s gamer?  75% of students in grade K5 – 2nd are using educational games as learning tools

#6 Teacher, I have a question!  30% of students indicated that being able to text the teacher a question during science class would help them learn

#5 Learning via YouTube?  Yes, 29% of students have used an online video to help them with their homework

#4 Pixel or Print:  What is your reading style?  One-third of students in grades 6-8 say their preference is to read a digital book for schoolwork

#3 What do kids think about flipped classrooms?  Six out of ten students say it would be a good way for them to learn

#2 Learning anytime, anyplace, any pace?  41% of students who have not taken a fully online class would like to take a virtual class; they believe the #1 benefit from the online class would be self-paced learning

#1 Use the Internet to help with homework at home?  Over 50% of students in grades 6-12 say that they do homework at least weekly on the internet; 29% of high schoolers say that homework on the internet is a daily event; 68% say that their primary internet access is through a 3G/4G device.

It is important to remember that digital learning is not “better” learning; however, we must not lose sight of the fact that today’s students are immersed into a digital world.  Effective teachers must implement strategies to reach the students in the world in which they live.  Increased immersion for students is on the rise.

What changes are you making to reach students of the 21st century?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.