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Survey: Students Want Mobile Devices in School

The new results of the annual Speak Up survey, which asks administrators, parents, students, and teachers about their views on technology, was released yesterday and it finds that students are increasingly harnessing the technological devices that they have at their disposal for educational purposes.

"Students are no longer waiting for policy changes within their schools, or
from Washington," said Julie Evans, the chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, the organization that conducts the survey, in a press release. "Students want their voices heard by those making education policies, but we are now seeing them move beyond their attempts to share their needs with adults. They are taking the technology they have grown up with and using it to help them learn, inside and outside of the classroom."

In previous Speak Up surveys, the biggest obstacle to using technology in school cited by students was "school filters and firewalls." This year, students in grades 6-12 identified the top obstacle as "I cannot use my own cellphone, smartphone, or MP3 player in school." However, 67 percent of teachers believe that such mobile devices will distract students from learning in class, and roughly half of teachers are worried about providing equal access to portable tech tools for all students.

Many of the themes identified in this year's survey are covered in detail in Technology Counts 2010, Education Week's annual report about the status of educational technology, which was released online today. The report examines the increasing use of mobile devices for learning.

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