NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released by Deloitte confirms that children are looking to continue learning outside the classroom – as long as they are doing so on their phone, tablet or laptop. The study, titled "2016 Digital Education Survey," shows that digital's impact on learning continues outside of the traditional school day, impacting the education ecosystem both inside and outside of the classroom, with virtually all children (90 percent) using digital learning materials at home and two-thirds starting as early as age five. Moreover, 75 percent of students are interested in spending time outside of the classroom learning more about what they study in school, and 73 percent of students say more access to digital learning materials would increase their time spent learning over the summer.
"With technology increasingly permeating every aspect of a child's life, we see a prime opportunity to connect in-classroom curriculum to enhanced learning outside the classroom – using the tools already in their hands," said Greg Merchant, managing director, technology, media and telecommunications practice at Deloitte Consulting LLP. "As education technology becomes more sophisticated, more available and more engaging, schools and parents are better equipped to adapt to the different ways students look to learn."
Students are not the only ones looking for more at-home learning: Parents and teachers are also on board, with 88 percent of parents and 84 percent of teachers interested in having more at-home digital content available to supplement what's being taught in school. These shifts are transforming the traditional divide between school and home life and creating a more personalized learning experience for all ages.
The inaugural edition of Deloitte's digital education survey uncovered many interesting findings around children's educational trends associated with the current unprecedented usage of digital education technology devices and materials. These include:
Parents look to teachers before opening their wallets and purchasing education technology devices and software
- The survey finds that teachers remain a key avenue to digital adoption. By a wide margin, parents trust teachers most, and teachers trust each other, for advice on both digital devices and learning materials.
- Nearly all parents (94 percent) care about brand when selecting digital learning materials, with teacher recommendations, good value, quality content and trusted brand as the highest brand attributes.
- Most children (81 percent) said they did some kind of summer learning last summer, and teacher suggestions were as important in driving engagement in summer learning activities as simply doing them for fun.
Despite everyday use, there is room for growth in school technology adoption
- Less than half (42 percent) of classrooms use at least one digital device daily, but 75 percent of teachers believe that digital learning content will replace printed textbooks within the next 10 years.
- The survey notes that 4 in 10 teachers say their school is "behind the curve" when it comes to technology adoption and implementation.
- Financial pressures (87 percent) and classroom integration (61 percent) challenges were cited as the biggest barriers to increasing the use of educational technology in the classroom.
- While 81 percent of teachers with 10 years of experience or less believe "ed tech" at school makes a "really big" or "pretty big" positive difference on students' learning, only 73 percent of teachers with 11-20 years of experience and 64 percent of teachers with 20-plus years of experience feel similarly.
Device preferences vary by age, as do learning motivations
- The survey found that while tablets and laptops are the two most preferred devices among all students, preference for tablets declines as students get older (from 53 percent in K-2 to 25 percent in 9-12), while laptop preference grows (from 15 percent in K-2 to 37 percent in 9-12).
- Students in grades 4-8 are more attracted by a wider variety of motivators like learning new things and having fun assignments, while high school students narrow their priority to college prep.
- For 74 percent of teachers, student engagement is a top motivation for acquisition of digital learning materials in classrooms, while more than half of parents (53 percent) noted skills development as a leading motivator at home.
- Ninety-one percent of parents are comfortable with their children using devices independently to play digital learning games; however, they are more likely to allow their child to spend more time engaging with educational videos or apps than with educational video games.
- Usage of games and apps are more prevalent in pre-K through fifth grade classrooms, but wane in popularity as students get older.
"Just as consumers' behavioral shifts drove the digital transformation of traditional media companies, the increasingly digital behaviors of students, teachers and parents are expanding the way learning occurs," said Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment sector leader, Deloitte LLP. "Understanding and positioning ahead of that behavioral shift will be critical in helping educational organizations succeed in the digital future."
Deloitte's "2016 Digital Education Survey" analyzes 2,800-plus responses from demographically-diverse teachers, parents and students. For more information on Deloitte's inaugural digital education survey, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/digedtrends. Connect with us on Twitter: @DeloitteTMT and #digedtrends.
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