National Education Technology Plan 2004
What Are They Telling Us?
NetDay, a national nonprofit organization that promotes the effective use of technology in schools to enhance student achievement, enlisted 210,000 K-12 students representing schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and on American military bases worldwide to go to http://www.netday.org over a ten-day period in October and November 2003, to complete an online survey as part of its first Speak Up Day for Students. In March 2004, these findings were issued in a national report partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education, entitled Voices and Views of Today's Tech-Savvy Students, to support the inclusion of students' perspectives in the development of the National Education Technology Plan.39
Major themes emerged from the students' comments:
- Today's students are very technology-savvy, feel strongly about the positive value of technology and rely upon technology as an essential and preferred component of every aspect of their lives.
- Students are not just using technology differently today but are approaching their lives and their daily activities differently because of the technology.
- As students get older, their use of technology becomes more sophisticated, but, comparatively, the younger students are on a fast track to becoming greater technology users and advocates.
- The access point for technology use, particularly for older students, is home-focused, not school-focused.
- Today's students are ultra-communicators.
Student comments from the survey of grades 6-12:
"We would like to have one computer per student, possibly a wireless laptop. Software needs to be updated, as well as hardware. Infrastructure should be improved to accommodate these upgrades. Access is vital, with before and after school hours open for use."
"Hire people to keep the computers running, give us more bandwidth and less firewall, enable hookups from home, give the teachers more training and give us more computer classes. We're also interested in ITV and online classes."
"I would like them to let us kids sign laptops out of the library and there would be enough for everyone in the school. Or they could give us a laptop for the year."
"Students should be allowed to have free access to online tutoring."
Student comments from grades 3-6:
"I think that teachers should be required to go to a technology course and extra classes should be available to kids who need help working with computers, want to learn more about technology, or who just want to have fun."
"Teachers could show more videos and web sites to show kids more information in social studies and science."
"I think that students should have laptops to do everything in class. We can type our homework, schoolwork, copy notes and things like that. We should not have to carry heavy books all day long and bring all of our books home."
"I think that we (schools) could give technology classes to students and teachers because our teachers are falling behind the students, as they aren't good with computer programs and software."
"I think the teachers could use technology better by learning more about it. I think if they learn more about it they could help the students better and help them do projects and stories."
"I really think that we should go to computer lab more often so that we can learn more about the world around us and what's going on."