Monday, October 19, 2009

Keystone Students Surveyed on Technology Use

We recently surveyed Keystone students in Grades 4-12 on their technology use both in and outside of school. We learned that:
  • 93% have computers at home, and 85% of their home computers are connected to the Internet.
  • About 69% have high-speed Internet at home; about 6% still have a dial-up connection, and another 16% aren't sure how they connect to the Internet.
  • Almost 66% of high school and 34% of elementary students (Grades 4-6) have an account on MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking site.
  • Over 86% of KHS and almost 78% of KES students have an iPod or other brand of mp3 player, and about 80% of high school and 61% of elementary students have cell phones.

We also surveyed our students on their attitudes toward technology use in school and discovered that:
  • About 89% of students in Grades 4-12 feel that technology makes learning more interesting.
  • Around 83.5% think that technology makes it easier to learn new things.
  • About 78% said that technology helps improve the quality of their school work.
  • 88% feel that having computers in the classroom is an advantage for learning.
In addition, it appears that our "Classrooms for the Future" and EETT grant programs have had an impact on teaching and learning at KHS over the past few years. A comparison of 2006 and 2009 survey data from Keystone High School shows:
  • Daily student technology use in classes increased by 12.8%.
  • Students who reported that they learn and remember best when the teacher lectures or tells them the information decreased by 26.7%, while the percentage of teachers using lecturing as a primary means of lesson delivery decreased by over 34% according to students. Only 8.7% of KHS students now report that they learn best when teachers lecture.
  • Students who said their teachers use technology to present lessons increased by nearly 33%, while an additional nearly 40% report that their teachers use a combination of methods to deliver lessons in 2009.
  • High school teachers increased their daily use of technology to deliver lessons by over 41% since 2006.
Unfortunately, Keystone Elementary has not benefitted from the state and federal technology grants that have targeted the high schools over the past few years. Teachers do not have access to nearly the number of multimedia projectors, interactive whiteboards, and student laptops that are now ubiquitous in the core subject area classrooms at KHS. This lack of equipment naturally limits the lesson delivery options at the elementary school. Although nearly 89% of students in Grades 4-6 say that technology makes learning more interesting, about 84% say that technology makes it easier to learn new things, and 88% report that having computers in the classroom is an advantage for learning:
  • Only 5.6% of KES students report that they use technology daily in their classes (as compared to 22.4% of KHS students.)
  • About 7.4% of KES students say that their teachers use technology to present lessons (KHS--49.6%), and only 6.5% of KES students report that their teachers use tech to present lessons daily as compared to 48% of KHS students.
Obviously, our challenge for the future is to find the financial means to provide the faculty and students at Keystone Elementary with the equipment and training they require to meet the needs of 21st Century learners while also, at a minimum, maintaining equipment and programs at KHS. And, of course, we can't forget that we need to continue to increase our PSSA scores as well!

This video demonstrates the unique instructional needs of today's students. Blog readers who receive updates by email may not be able to see the embedded video and should access it through this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8



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