Schoolhouse Tech Even Bigger for Gen Z than for Millennials

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, December 8, 2016

Schoolhouse Tech Even Bigger for Gen Z than for Millennials

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on CNET.

Pens and notebooks, you may be on the way out as the main tools of classroom learning. At least according to one study, technology is catching on in a big way.

New survey data from online-learning site Quizlet shows that teachers and students have a largely positive view of tech in the classroom.

In November 2016, Quizlet surveyed 12,525 students and 10,800 teachers in the US and found that 69 percent of students say devices help them learn and 66 percent said apps help them learn. And when comparing Generation Z (those born after 2000) to millennials, the newer batch of students are 28 percent more likely to feel that tech helps them learn more quickly than the old familiar tools like worksheets and lectures.

On the whole, teachers came across as more enthusiastic -- they're 32 percent more likely than students to say learning tech is a good use of classroom time. They also think it's more fun for students. Eighty-three percent of teachers surveyed by Quizlet think devices make learning more fun, compared with 63 percent of students.

Quizlet doesn't see any drop-off ahead.

"The availability of high-speed internet combined with the proliferation of smartphones and inexpensive devices like Chromebooks has made technology ubiquitous in the classroom," said Quizlet CEO Matthew Glotzbach.

Technology in the classroom has become a hot issue as educators try to find a way to not only teach kids digital literacy but also get them interested in the field of computer science. In January 2016, President Barack Obama pledged $4 billion to fund computer science in schools. Meanwhile, the White House estimates only a quarter of K-12 schools in the US cover computer science.

The long-term effects of tech in the classroom have yet to be seen. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in September 2015 that though students who used computers at school did moderately better in testing, students who used computers frequently at school actually did worse.

"The results also show no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science" in countries that heavily invested in information and communication technology for education, the OECD report said.

In any case, technology has become a daily fact of life for many people, students and teachers included. That familiarity has ripple effects.

"The more comfortable you are with technology, the more positive you're going to be about it," Glotzbach said.

Source: CNET