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Technology Use in California Schools: Findings from Speak Up 2016

California’s School Leaders Speak Up


Top 5 digital learning initiatives in CA schools. Principals say:              

  • Using student data to inform instruction (93%)
  • Online assessments (89%)
  • Cloud based communications and collaboration tools (84%)
  • Videos, simulations and animations (78%)
  • Students have periodic access to devices in school (78%)

Top challenges identified by CA principals regarding tech use in school:           

  • Motivating teachers to change their practice to use tech in classrooms (55%)
  • Digital equity issues - student access at home (53%)
  • Teacher PD (51%)
  • Tech support for teachers (45%)
  • Student access to tech at school (43%)

What bugs you about using tech at school? CA Grade 6-12 students say: 
Internet is too slow!

What technology do students use most often at school?

Most of the time at school, I use… 3rd to 5th 6th to 8th 9th to 12th
My own mobile device 6% 28% 68%
Laptop 14% 20% 31%
Tablet 26% 26% 6%
Chromebook 60% 59% 44%
Computers in a lab or library  17% 27% 30%

Top 5 ways CA high school students are using mobile devices in class

  • Check grades (87%)
  • Internet research (83%)
  • Doc sharing with classmates and teachers (63%)
  • Look up school or class information (62%)
  • Take photos of assignments or textbook pages (56%)

What tops CA teachers’ “wish list” for professional development?

  • Using technology to differentiate instruction (53%)
  • Using education games within instruction (48%)
  • Using mobile devices within instruction (37%)

What is most important to ensure success with new digital learning initiatives? According to CA technology leaders: 

  • Adequate funding (83%)
  • Teachers’ knowledge on how to integrate technology within instruction (82%)
  • Adequate technology infrastructure (75%)
  • Teachers’ skills with using technology tools (71%)
  • Adequate Internet bandwidth capacity (65%)

What tops CA teachers’ needs for them to use technology more efficiently?

  • Planning time to with colleagues (64%)
  • Classroom set of mobile devices (60%)
  • Tech support when I need it (57%)
  • Professional development (51%)
  • High quality Internet access (47%)
  • Assurance that my students have Internet access outside of school (44%)

Source: Speak Up Research Initiative, 2016 Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 514,351 K-12 students, parents, and educators from around the world, including more than 58,000 students, 4,000 teachers 145 tech leaders and 350 school administrators across California. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow, a global nonprofit organization. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.