Research into the use of electronic devices in school shows how educators miss the mark

From laptops to tablets, technology is a powerful tool for connecting teaching and learning in schools. But leaving students to their own devices (literally) doesn’t mean the tools are being used effectively, if they’re being used at all.

Besides the expenses (purchase and repairs) and the challenges (training and teacher buy-in), when students aren’t ready to engage with the devices, their academic and non-cognitive skills development suffers. According to research, there is a way to get students to care for and about the devices that schools and districts have invested in.

A new study from the University of Roehampton London investigated whether Classcraft could drive students to adopt devices, like Google Chromebooks, and improve 21st-century skills. It found that Classcraft had a powerful impact on encouraging students to not only use their devices but use them actively and responsibly.

At the beginning of the study, student participants typically didn’t understand how they could use their devices or were not engaged in doing so. They were also underprepared, with one class reporting at less than 50 percent of student readiness, or digital capability. By not using their devices, students were missing out on some of the biggest benefits of technology.

Photo credit: Google

After implementing Classcraft, students invested more time and effort into tasks using their devices. Digital literacy, digital citizenship, technical capabilities, and personal accountability improved.

Teachers in the study noted:  

  • 2x increase in effective participation in tasks requiring a device
  • 89% improvement of active digital citizenship
  • 6x increase in sophisticated/independent device use

Using electronic devices in school can be easier

Deploying technology can be tough, but when integrated in a productive way into students’ education, the right digital tools can foster curiosity, collaboration, and independence. Schools and districts can make device implementation easier by improving student readiness and 21st-century skills.

To learn more about the research:

Download the case study and get a student readiness checklist here.

Photo credit: Google

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