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At the start of 2018, the U.S. market experienced a 10 percent year-over-year growth in mobile devices sold to K-12 schools, according to THE Journal. From tablets to laptops to smartphones, mobile devices have taken over education.
And it’s easy to see why.
As printed textbooks give way to lower cost, easily updatable online textbooks, and more digital resources become available, schools find new ways to expand the use of ed tech to enrich the learning environment. A “Tech in the Classroom” survey revealed 73 percent of teachers agreed that technology has dramatically changed the classroom in the last five years – and for the better.
82 percent of teachers said tech has not only brought the classroom into the modern age, its enhanced teaching and learning.
Learning can be more personal and focused as teachers use technology and data trends to create a unique learning experience for each student. But to use these solutions, students have to have devices.
The latest Kajeet report, “Managing Student Devices in K-12,” takes a closer look at device use and management. Check out the report for full details and keep reading this blog for a sneak preview.
Types of Devices in the Classroom
Do you remember the days of a new projector in the classroom counting as the latest technology? Or how excited you were as a student to see the big TV rolled in on a cart?
We’ve come a long way from those days, and the types of devices only continue to grow.
Laptops and tablets are a huge part of today’s curriculum, with 79 percent of respondents to a Kajeet survey reporting daily device usage in the classroom. And technology goes beyond laptops and tablets. Tech in schools now includes tools such as wearables, makerspaces, 3D printers, and more.
Device Use Inside the Classroom
As we all know, technology is not the end-all solution for education. According to an Education Week survey, a large majority of teachers said they feel enthusiastic about the future use of ed tech. However, many said digital programs are still primarily used to supplement traditional instruction strategies.
It is important for schools to not only encourage the integration of tech into the classroom, but also provide professional development to teachers regarding all the tools available.
Technology in the classroom helps engage students, bring new experiences to their very eyes, build 21st century skills, and more.
Device Use Outside the Classroom
Device use doesn’t have to stop at school grounds. Today’s students need Internet at home to complete homework assignments, access educational portals and discussion boards, work on shared documents, and find other learning aids and resources.
In order to make the most of these devices, students need easy access to Wi-Fi outside of the classroom. If not, students without Internet find themselves caught in the Homework Gap. Check out our blog on how you can close this gap and keep device usage going even when students leave school for the day.
Grading the Impact of Student Device Use
Now here comes the fun part – what makes the grade for student device usage, and what doesn’t? The Managing Student Devices in K-12 report goes into more detail, but advantages of devices include: improving learning and student outcomes, preparing students for the workplace, and closing the Homework Gap.
While device use comes with plenty of benefits, it’s not without its downsides. A few drawbacks include: distractions or inappropriate content, cyberbulling and hackers, complexity, teacher preparedness, and device management.
But don’t worry, the report provides tips for managing and mitigating these disadvantages to ensure your students have great, and safe, digital experiences.
Best Practices for Managing Student Devices
As mentioned above, a drawback to providing devices to students is actually managing those devices. Without an effective, centralized mobile device management (MDM) platform, it can quickly turn into an overwhelming, all-consuming job.
Getting started with a new MDM solution can seem daunting. These best practices will give you tips on what to look for in an MDM, and how it can help your IT processes, including:
- Managing all devices from one platform.
- Keeping students safe and on-task.
- Increasing device accountability.
- Reporting on program effectiveness.
Staying Ahead as Device Use Continues to Flourish
There’s no question that tech is integral to the future of K-12 education. The Journal asked teachers if they believed “technology will have a positive role to play in education in the future.” A resounding 96 percent said “yes.”
As new digital technologies are introduced, and if the U.S. continues to see 10 percent year-over-year growth, device use in schools will continue to skyrocket. Make sure you get ahead of device use – what devices you want to use and how they will be integrated into the classroom – along with how you will manage them to ensure a seamless digital learning experience for all students.