One in Six US Students Are in 1:1 Programs

6660064659_5bd12b756a_b[1]The LA school district's boondoggle to spend a billion dollars on iPads may have given one to one programs a bad name, but they're not the only program in the US. A new survey report has revealed that 16% of kids in the US are in a one to one program in their school - and most of them are not using a tablet. The 60 page report (PDF) is based on a survey group of 2,252 kids aged 8 to 18. The survey was conducted by Harris Poll, and was sponsored by Pearson. There's far too much detail to cover in this one blog post, but I can give you the highlights.

Device Ownership

  • Over half of the survey group own a smartphone (54%), with high schoolers more likely to have them than middle or elementary school students (72%, 49%, 22%, respectively)
  • 53% own a laptop, and like smartphones high schoolers are more likely to own one (66%, 49%, 34%)
  • Just under half own a tablet (45%); middle and elementary school students were more likely to own one than a high schooler (51%, 51%, 36%)

Those figures are for device ownership, not usage, which is higher. Almost three quarters of the survey group use a computer on a regular basis (at home or in school) while 62% use a smartphone and 53% use a tablet.

According to the report, both usage and ownership are at record highs, showing that the ownership figures from the Pew Research Center's latest survey are understating the actual usage of said hardware.

Gadgets & Schoolwork

  • 63% would like to use mobile devices more often in class
  • 90% believe tablets will change the way students will learn in the future
  • 58% reported using a laptop for school work at least 2 to 3 times a week
  • Half as many (29%) use a tablet at least 2 to 3 times a week
  • 30% use a smartphone at least 2 to 3 times a week

Among tablet users, high school and middle school students are more likely to have a larger tablet, while elementary school students are more likely to have a smaller tablet. High schoolers were also more likely to have a keyboard.

Like device ownership, the use of gadgets reflect distinct differences among the age groups, with high schoolers more likely to use a smartphone or laptop, and elementary school students more likely to use a tablet.

The age differences suggest that the older students are primarily using devices that were new and popular when they were younger, while elementary school students are adopting the tablet because it is new and popular right now. If that analysis is correct then there will probably be a significant increase in tablet ownership and use among kids over the next decade.


One to one

Now, of the students that use a device in school, only 16% reported being able to use it all the time. Ten percent report that a laptop is provided for their use, and another 6% say that they use a tablet.

The prevalence of laptops comes as no surprise to me; I noted a couple months ago that Chromebooks were probably outselling iPads in the educational market. But what did surprise me was the detail about BYOD programs.

An additional 12% of the survey group reported that they are in BYOD (bring your own device) programs and carry in a device from home. This group is quantified separately because it's not clear how often they have the device or what type of mobile device they're using.


All in all, it's a long read. You can find the announcement here, and the report here (PDF).

images by flickingerbrad

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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