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#1. Learning = playing digital games and watching online videos
Elementary students say their favorite ways to learn are playing digital games and watching online videos (45%) and using technology to collaborate with others (50%). And the ultimate best is when they can learn about wildlife and animals too!

#2. Ed tech outcomes: is it creativity or engagement?
What is the impact of technology use in school? 52% of students in grades 3-12 say it is about developing creativity skills. Engagement still matters but only 4 in 10 middle school students say it the most significant outcome – for them it is about acquiring future-ready skills.

#3. I’ll take fries with that math homework!
While a majority of Grade 6-12 students say they use technology more outside of school than in school for learning, 13% of students say they sometimes cannot do homework because they lack out of school Internet access. Those students are 50% more likely than students with home access to be at McDonalds or Starbucks doing homework.

#4. Ups and downs of students’ social media usage trends
Facebook and Twitter – trending down! 2009: 66% of high school students said they regularly updated their Facebook accounts; 2018: 67% say they rarely or never use Facebook. Over past 4 years, Twitter usage by high school students is down 40%.
Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube – trending up! No surprise: 40% of students say they learn more from watching a video than reading a book. The power of a visual image!

#5. Changing priorities – from social media access to faster Internet
Today’s high school students say that the Internet at their school is too slow (54%) to support their schoolwork needs. In 2011, only 1/3 of high school students had that complaint – instead their #1 barrier to school tech use was rules against accessing social media accounts (51%).

#6. Being safe online
Despite media stories, only 35% of students report cyberbullying happens at their school – only slightly increased from what it was in 2004 (31%) before everyone had smartphones. But girls are 60% more likely to say they know someone or have been a victim of cyberbullying than boys. While 2/3rds of student say they know how to be safe online, only 1 in 5 girls say their digital citizenship skills are advanced compared to their peers – 36% of boys give themselves that advanced badge!

#7. Learning in 2019: it’s via YouTube
1/3 of students in grades 6-12 use YouTube to help with everyday homework. But 49% use it for self-directed learning around academic areas of interest. 28% of middle school students have their own personal YouTube channel (do you?) 7% are running a YouTube business!
Maybe that is why 46% of students say they are learning skills important for their future via YouTube (only 43% say the same about school).

#8. Coding for all – but are students interested in coding?

While 43% of girls and 50% of boys in grade 3-5 say they are interested in learning coding, that gap widens significantly as students get older. By high school, 46% of girls say they are interested in learning coding, but 62% of boys have coding on their bucket list. What drives student interest? Coding helps develop creativity skills according to the students.

#9. Next Sheryl or Bill?
While boys and girls have almost parity in their interest in science careers, girls are almost 2x as likely to say they are not interested in a technology career field as boys. Only 13% of high school girls aspire to be the next Sheryl Sandberg while 31% of boys see themselves as the next Bill Gates. However, both girls and boys want to use digital tools to explore careers: follow career professionals on social media (40%), take a virtual class about a career field (39%) and play an online game about an industry (32%). Best way to learn about a STEM career? Students say they would like an internship or part time job in the field. Are you hiring?

#10. Designing the perfect school for me!
Students say that the perfect school for them leans into personalization with digital tools and resources that enable individualized learning such as a Chromebook or laptop for every student (75% of K-12 students want this!), mobile apps for learning (61%), tools to create media and digital content (56%), online tutors (52%) and social media tools for collaboration (52%).

Source: Speak Up Research Initiative, 2018-19 Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 289,373 K-12 students from around the world. 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.