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How America's Schools are Addressing the Homework Gap: Speak Up 2016 findings


49% of principals say ensuring student access to technology outside of school (digital equity) is a major challenge today, compared to only 30% of principals in 2010.

17% of students say they are impacted by the homework gap - they cannot do homework because they lack internet outside of school.

44% of teachers say they need confidence that their students have access to consistent and safe Internet outside of school in order to effectively integrate technology in the classroom

Homework gap students are resourceful. Among those who do not have access to the internet outside of school:

  • 48% go to school early or stay late to use their school's Internet
  • 32% are going online to do homework at fast food restaurants or cafés
  • 30% use their public library’s Internet

How often do teachers assign homework assignments that require internet access? How often do students use the Internet to do homework?

  Rarely A few times a year A few times a month A few times a week Daily or almost daiy
Gr 6-8 11% 6% 15% 34% 35%
Gr 9-12 6% 4% 11% 31% 48%
Teachers 48% 18% 16% 14% 6%

How are schools and districts addressing the homework gap?

  Doing this Considering No plans
Allowing students on campus early or after school to access school network 67% 17% 16%
Encouraging libraries or other public Internet locations to give students priority access 54% 18% 27%
Instructing students to download web-based assignments and resources to USB sticks while at school 44% 20% 36%
Discouraging homework assignments that are 100% Internet dependent 40% 19% 41%
Providing WiFi access in the school parking lots for staff and student access 34% 18% 48%
Working with restaurants, cafes and businesses to provide safe locations for student Internet access 14% 25% 61%
Equipping school buses with WiFi hotspots 8% 26% 66%
Paying for home Internet for low income families 3% 11% 85%

See the 2015 findings to compare changes: How America’s Schools Are Addressing the Homework Gap: Speak Up 2015 Findings

Source: Speak Up 2016 Research Project Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 514,085 K-12 students, parents and educators nationwide. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow, a global nonprofit organization, and is supported by these innovative companies: Apex Learning, Blackboard, Inc., BrainPOP, DreamBox Learning, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Rosetta Stone Education and Scholastic. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.