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Districts Moving Away From Desktop Technology in Favor of Mobile, Report Finds

The mobile education technology cart might be edging out the computer lab in many districts, according to a new analysis by the Education Week Research Center.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 district administrators and teachers, the center found Google Chromebooks were used more frequently in day-to-day instruction than all PC and Apple desktop and laptop computers combined:

chromebooks vs others.PNG

Moreover, education staff said they expected to invest more in tablet computers—and to a lesser extent laptops—than in desktop technology for the classroom. You can read the details of the survey in this report, and my colleague Sean Cavanagh dives into the data on the competing ed-tech giants over at Market Brief.

The results come as many large-scale assessments, such as the National Assessment of Education Progress, move into tablet-based formats. What does it mean for education research? For those in the field, it could make data collection easier, as it can be easier to collect metadata on how students are engaging with material through touch-pad technology. Yet many districts do not have clear privacy protocols on how app-based programs collect and use students' data, which could create landmines for researchers hoping to work with schools.

What do you think? How will the expansion of mobile technology in the classroom change education research? For that matter, what will it mean to researchers if technology behemoths like Google, Microsoft, and Apple continue to dominate the market, regardless of format?


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