When we talk about what makes today’s classrooms ‘modern’, the discussion often turns to technology. While the internet and the vast number of devices available have certainly changed, so too have our attitudes and understandings about learning and teaching. These changes in attitude and understanding have brought about huge changes in the classroom. There’s a lot less ‘memorize this and fill in the blanks on the worksheet’ and more project based learning, differentiation, and personalized learning. Students are much more involved in their own learning. Edtech, though on the surface seems to be a pretty simple, self explanatory term, has become a buzzword that covers so many different categories of devices, apps, learning changes and more as applied to classrooms.
The handy infographic below takes aggregated data from more than 100,000 K-12 students in the US. It looks at their interests and learning preferences and gauges how this brings about changes in the classroom. The technology has changed over the years, but it should always be a supplement to the pedagogical methods, not the focus.
How students really feel about edtech
- 36% of boys said athletics was a primary focus, while 13,2% of girls said the same
- 17.5% of girls said reading was a primary interest, while 9.3% of boys said the same
- 10.1% of boys said math was a primary interest, while 7.9% of girls said the same
- Other interests included: social action, technology, performing arts, fine arts, science, video and photography, history and social studies, and foreign languages
- 28.6 % of students indicated they prefer to learn with technology
- 40% prefer human interaction, like peer tutoring, group work, and discussion groups
- When asked their preference between technology, games, and peer tutoring, both boys and girls ranked technology #1. Girls felt similarly about games and peer tutoring, while boys preferred games over peer tutoring.
- As students age, their primary expression preferences become more diverse
- 50% of 3rd graders (vs 7% of 11th graders) rank audio visual display first for how they prefer to share their learning