Report: Kids Have Better Internet Access at Home Than at School


New data from a Harris Poll on behalf of Pearson has found that students have better access to the Internet at their homes than they do at school.

The report, The Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2014was administered to 2,252 K-12 students in 2014.  The results show that 93% of participants had Internet access at home, while only 62% have access to WiFi at school.  This limitation lowers the amount of personal instruction that can be accomplished while at school.

The survey also discovered that most students would like more access to their mobile devices while in the classroom than what they currently are allowed.  This sentiment holds true for 71% of elementary students, 67% of middle school students and 56% of high school students.

About half of the participants said schools should be required to provide a laptop or tablet to each student.  Currently, 1 in 6 student participants attend a school where this is done.  Laptops were found to be the most commonly used mobile device for school work, with 8 in 10 students reporting using one for school assignments.  Only about 11% of students reported using a hybrid device or 2-in-1 computer for school work.

Students also addressed a growing need for Internet access at school, during the survey, with 61% of middle school students and 71% of high school students stating they need to access the Internet at least twice a week to complete school assignments.  About 26% of middle schoolers and 34% of high school students reported needing access on a daily basis.

The report also discovered a growth in tablet and smartphone use, finding 66% of elementary, 58% of middle school, and 42% of high school students use tablets, compared to last year’s findings of 52%, 43%, and 33% respectively.  Smartphone use saw an increase from 35% to 44% among elementary students, 47% to 58% in middle school, and 60% to 75% of high school students.

Most students agreed that tablets are changing the way of learning and that they will continue to do so in the future (about 90%), and 89% said they make learning more fun.  African-American and Hispanic students were more likely to say that tablets help them do better in class, with 83% of African-Americans and 84% of Hispanics reporting this sentiment, versus 77% of white students.

The majority of all participants agreed with the statement “I know more than my teachers about how to use tablets and other computers for learning.”  This held true for 56% of elementary students, 65% of middle school students, and 75% of high school students.

The report also looked at student attitudes concerning mobile devices, their ownership, and usage while at school and for school work, as well as Internet usage at school and the use of mobile devices in the future.

Participants included 501 elementary school students, 750 middle school students, and 1,001 high school students between the ages of 8-18.