Chromebooks are on the rise, but Windows reliance remains
Sixty-two percent of K-12 schools participating in a recent survey support Chromebook initiatives, and 22 percent of those schools use Chromebooks as a primary classroom device.
While Chromebooks appear to be increasing in popularity, Windows presence remains heavy--92 percent of survey respondents said their schools use at least one Windows-based application, and 29 percent said they use five or more Windows applications for teaching and learning.
[Editor's note: We're always tracking mobile device trends for you; click here and here for the latest information.]
The survey of K-12 educators and IT professionals from more than 1,500 K-12 schools comes from Ericom Software, a provider of application access and virtualization solutions.
Device compatibility with existing applications emerged as a top priority for survey respondents, with 43 percent saying their dependence on desktop and cloud-based Windows applications influenced their thoughts about Chromebook deployment. Sixty percent of respondents said browser-based access to Windows applications on Chromebooks would make them a viable solution.
Next page: Top Chromebook and Windows findings from the survey
"This survey suggests that schools are searching for a solution that allows them to integrate cost-efficient Chromebooks into the learning environment without sacrificing access to Windows and other applications," stated Ilan Paretsky, Vice President of Marketing at Ericom Software. "HMTL5 browser-based remote access provides K-12 schools with a simple solution by making both desktop and cloud-based Windows applications available through a standard browser – a two-for-one solution, simplifying life for both users and IT staff."
One-to-one initiatives are also emerging as a popular solution in K-12 learning environments. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents' schools consider one-to-one capability when evaluating IT solutions. However, according to 71 percent of respondents, at this point, school-issued devices such as laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks, are limited to use during the school day and on school property.
Based on survey results, K-12 schools are using a mixture of strategies to increase device access, with 46 percent of respondents saying their school's top priority is giving every student access to a device within the next three years.
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Marketplace trend update: 5 tools to help you stay ahead of the curve
It goes without saying that technology is always changing. School leaders are expected to help their teachers use current technology to enhance learning, but at the same time, they must keep on top of future technologies that might soon impact teaching and learning.
Changes in professional development delivery, virtual reality in classrooms, online learning innovations, and tools that enable students to share their progress and accomplishments are just a few of the fast-evolving areas educators must track.
Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.
KQED Teach, which launched on July 11, provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help K-12 educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their learning environments. These courses will take place in an online platform developed by KQED Education that tracks user progress and encourages sharing and feedback through an integrated social community. KQED Teach participants will have access to a wide range of social media and digital media tools allowing them to construct and remix media in multiple formats and across a variety of platforms while addressing many writing, reading, speaking and listening skills required by both the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Read more.
Students are able to share their digital portfolio contents with parents and caregivers with ClassDojo's Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classwork to their own digital portfolio. Parents will be able to follow along with their child’s learning, whether it’s a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of a science experiment, or a reflection on finally solving a tough math problem, students can easily record and share their learning with parents. Read more.
In Arizona, all students in grades 9-12 in the Dysart Unified School District will be able to more effectively collaborate with school counselors to identify their strengths, plan academic coursework, determine career aspirations, find best-fit colleges, and discover scholarships using Naviance by Hobsons, a digital college and a career planning platform. Having tripled in size since 2000, Dysart is one of the fastest-growing school systems in the state, serving a high population of Latinos and English Language Learners (ELLs), as well as first-generation college-bound students. Despite its unprecedented growth, the district has maintained an 85 percent graduation rate among its four comprehensive high schools. Read more.
Report: Students’ tech use remains infrequent
Students' use of digital tools and other learning technologies remains relatively sporadic, according to a new study.
Based on direct classroom observations of 140,000 K-12 classrooms across 39 states and 11 countries, the study by the school improvement organization AdvancED found there are still relatively few classrooms in which the use of digital tools and technology is a regular part of a student’s school experience.
The findings come from an analysis of three years of data from AdvancED's learning observation environments observation tool, eleot, which measures and quantifies active student engagement through learner-centric classroom observations, to determine how extensively technology is being used to engage students in learning.
Three eleot items focus specifically on students' use of digital tools and technology for a variety of purposes:
1. Students use digital tools/technology to gather, evaluate and/or use information for learning.
2. Students use digital tools/technology to conduct research, solve problems and/or create original works for learning.
3. Students use digital tools/technology to communicate and work collaboratively for learning.
More than half of classrooms included in the study (52.7 percent) showed no evidence of using technology to gather, evaluate, or use information for learning. Roughly two-thirds of surveyed classrooms showed no evidence of using technology to conduct research, solve problems, or create original work, nor to communicate and work collaboratively for learning.
The study looked at data gathered in 20-minute observation periods during which specially trained observers conducted student-centered classroom observations in randomly selected classrooms, lessons, and schools at the beginning, middle, and end of class.
Dr. Ludy van Broekhuizen, chief innovation officer for AdvancED and author of the research study, notes that increasing student engagement may be a far more powerful learning tool than technology itself.
“When students are genuinely engaged in their learning around topics that connect to their lives and interest them, they are much less inclined to engage in off-task behaviors with or without access to technology,” he noted. “It is when students lose themselves in their learning that we have accomplished what we set out to do for them in the first place.”
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