- Technology in the classroom
- Technology at home
- Technology for homework and research
- Technology for communication
- Technology for extracurricular activities
- Technology for college and career readiness
- Technology for social and emotional learning
- Technology for physical education and health
- Technology for special needs students
- Technology for English language learners
It’s a question that has been debated for years: how many students really have access to technology? Some say all, some say most, and some say few.
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Technology in the classroom
Technology in the classroom is becoming more and more commonplace. However, there is still a lack of universally available technology in classrooms across the United States. In some cases, this is due to the high cost of implementing and maintaining technology infrastructure in schools. In other cases, it is due to a lack of teacher training on how to effectively use technology in the classroom.
One way to measure the availability of technology in classrooms is to look at the number of students who have access to a computer at school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 38% of 5-8th grade students had access to a computer at school in 2016. This number drops to 32% for 9-12th grade students. While these numbers have increased over the past few years, there is still a significant gap between those who have access to computers at school and those who do not.
The availability of technology in the classroom can also be measured by looking at the number of students who have access to high-speed Internet at school. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 61% of public schools had access to high-speed Internet in 2016. This number has increased significantly over the past few years, but there are still many schools that do not have adequate Internet access.
The digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not is an important issue that needs to be addressed. By looking at the number of students who have access to computers and high-speed Internet at school, we can begin to understand how widespread the problem is and what needs to be done to close the gap.
Technology at home
It’s no secret that, for many years now, schools have been working hard to promote digital literacy and learning among their students. A big part of this has been through the introduction and use of technology in the classroom, with students using laptops, tablets and other devices to engage with content and complete assignments.
But what about outside of school? Do all students have access to the technology they need in order to continue their learning at home?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. While there has been a significant increase in the number of households with access to technology over the past decade, there is still a digital divide between those who have access and those who don’t.
According to a 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 21% of households with school-age children do not have a computer at home, and another 9% only have a smartphone. That means that nearly one-third of all families do not have regular access to a computer, which can make it difficult for students to complete assignments or conduct research outside of school.
There are various programs and initiatives in place to help close the digital divide, but more needs to be done in order to ensure that all students have equal access to technology both inside and outside of the classroom.
Technology for homework and research
Technology has become an integral part of education, with most students using computers or other digital devices for homework and research. However, not all students have equal access to technology. According to a recent study, only about half of all students in the United States have a computer at home that they can use for schoolwork.
This lack of access can put disadvantaged students at a serious disadvantage. Those who do not have a computer at home may not be able to complete their homework or research assignments, which can lead to lower grades and less success in school. Additionally, without access to technology, these students may miss out on opportunities to learn about new topics or explore their interests.
There are many programs and initiatives working to increase access to technology for all students, but there is still more work to be done. In the meantime, it is important for teachers and parents to be aware of the problem and help those without access to technology get the resources they need.
Technology for communication
According to a recent survey, 80% of American adults own a smartphone, and 45% say they couldn’t go more than a day without it. With such widespread access to technology, one would assume that all Americans have the ability to stay connected with friends and family. However, this is not the case.
In fact, many students do not have access to technology for communication. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only about two-thirds of public school students in the United States have access to a computer at home. And, of those who do have access, many do not have internet service. This means that many students are unable to participate in online learning or communication outside of school hours.
This digital divide is especially apparent in rural areas. According to the Rural Education Association, only 50% of rural schools have high-speed internet access. This limits the ability of students in rural areas to participate in distance learning or take advantage of other online resources.
The digital divide is also evident when looking at income levels. Families with lower incomes are less likely to have access to technology and internet service at home. According to the Pew Research Center, only 60% of adults living in households earning less than $30,000 per year have a computer at home. This number drops to just over half for those living in households earning $30,000-$49,999 per year. In comparison, nearly 90% of adults living in households earning $75,000 or more per year have a computer at home.
While there has been some progress made in recent years to close the digital divide, it is clear that there is still work to be done. Until all students have equal access to technology and internet resources, some will continue to be left behind in their education and in their ability to communicate with others outside of school hours.
Technology for extracurricular activities
Since the beginning of the school year, teachers and administrators have been voicing their concerns about the lack of technology in their classrooms. According to a recent survey, only about half of all K-12 students have access to a computer at home, and even fewer have access to a high-speed internet connection. This leaves many students at a disadvantage when it comes to completing homework assignments or participating in extracurricular activities.
In an effort to level the playing field, some schools are now providing technology for extracurricular activities. For example, one school district in Pennsylvania has started a program that loans out laptops to students who need them for after-school clubs and activities. The district has also created an online portal where students can access homework help and other resources.
While these initiatives are helpful, they only address part of the problem. In order to truly close the digital divide, schools need to provide technology for all students – not just those who participate in extracurricular activities.
Technology for college and career readiness
Technology is an essential part of college and career readiness, yet many students do not have access to the technology they need to be successful. A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that only about half of all students had access to a computer at home, and even fewer had access to a broadband internet connection.
There are a number of reasons why students may not have access to technology. Some families cannot afford to purchase computers or internet service, while others may not have adequate technology infrastructure in their homes. In addition, some students may not have the digital literacy skills needed to make use of technology resources.
Without access to technology, students are at a disadvantage when it comes to college and career readiness. They may have difficulty completing online coursework, conducting research, or completing job applications. They may also miss out on opportunities to develop important 21st century skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
There are a number of initiatives underway to increase access to technology for all students. For example, many school districts provide laptops or tablets for use in the classroom or offer free or reduced-price internet service for families in need. In addition, there are many programs that provide training on how to use technology for college and career success. By increasing access to technology, we can help ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in today’s world.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which young people learn to identify and manage their emotions, set and achieve goals, feel empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Technology can play an important role in supporting SEL by providing students with opportunities to practice these skills in a safe and supportive environment.
However, not all students have access to the technology they need to support their SEL. In fact, according to a recent report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), only about half of all students in the United States have access to the technology they need for social and emotional learning.
The report found that students who do not have access to technology are more likely to experience social and emotional difficulties, such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. They are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use.
So what can be done to increase access to technology for social and emotional learning? One way is to provide funding for schools and districtsto purchase the necessary equipment and software. Another way is to ensure that all students have access to a computer or other device outside of school hours.
Technology for physical education and health
Much discussion about educational technology focuses on using computers and the Internet in classrooms to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. But what about using technology for physical education and health? How many students have access to the technology they need to stay fit and healthy?
The answer, sadly, is not as many as we would like. According to a recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), only about one in four elementary schools and one in six secondary schools provide daily physical education for all students. And while more than half of all schools have access to the internet, only a third of elementary schools and two-thirds of secondary schools have WiFi that is available to all students.
This lack of access to technology for physical education and health is especially troubling given the growing evidence of the importance of both exercise and screen time on children’s health. Studies have shown that children who are physically active are more likely to be academically successful and less likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. And while too much screen time has been linked with obesity and poor sleep habits, some screen time can be beneficial if it’s used for purposes such as physical activity or educational games.
So how can we increase access to technology for physical education and health? One way is by making sure that all students have access to WiFi at school. This would allow them to use apps and websites that can help them get active during physical education class or on their own time. Another way is by investing in fitness tracking devices such as Fitbits or Apple Watches, which can help students track their activity levels and set goals. Whatever approach we take, it’s clear that increasing access to technology for physical education and health is an important step in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to lead healthy lives.
Technology for special needs students
Despite the rise in the use of technology in education, there is still a significant achievement gap between students with disabilities and their able-bodied peers. In fact, only about half of students with disabilities have access to the technology they need to succeed in school, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics.
There are a number of reasons for this discrepancy. For one, many special needs students require specialized devices and software that can be expensive. In addition, many schools lack the infrastructure to support the use of technology for all students.
As a result, special needs students often fall behind their peers in terms of academic achievement. This is especially true for those with communication disorders, who may have difficulty using standard communication devices and software.
Fortunately, there are a number of initiatives aimed at increasing access to technology for special needs students. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that schools provide disabled students with the “related services” they need to benefit from their education. This includes access to assistive technology.
In addition, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 created a fund to help states purchase assistive technology for disabled individuals. And the Perkins Loan program provides low-interest loans to help cover the cost of assistive technology for college students with disabilities.
With increased awareness and funding, hopefully more special needs students will have access to the technology they need to succeed in school and in life.
Technology for English language learners
Technology for English language learners (ELLs) can be a great leveler in the classroom, providing them with opportunities to engage with content and practice English outside of class. However, a new study from the Education Technology Industry Council (ETIC) shows that there is still a long way to go in terms of ensuring all ELLs have access to technology.
According to the study, which surveyed 1,004 public school districts across the country, only 40 percent of districts reported that all of their ELL students had access to technology. When it came to specific devices, laptops were the most likely to be available, with 66 percent of districts reporting that all of their ELL students had access to laptops. Tablet availability was much lower, at just 42 percent.
There were also significant disparities when it came to district size and student demographics. For example, larger districts were more likely to report that all of their ELL students had access to technology, as were districts with higher percentages of poverty and English-language learners.
The study highlights the need for more action when it comes to ensuring all ELL students have access to technology. As the use of technology in classrooms continues to grow, it is essential that all students have the opportunity to benefit from its use.