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In Vermont, Technology Outnumbers Students After Nearly 50% Increase in Two Years

Technology Outnumbers Students in Vermont After Nearly 50% increase in Two Years

A new study from the Vermont Agency of Education has found that there is more technology in the state’s schools than there are students.

According to The Burlington Free Press, the agency found 85,000 devices in schools for student use despite recent data indicating only 77,000 students are in the state’s K-12 schools.

The number of devices has nearly doubled since the agency did a similar study two years ago; on its last study the agency found 45,000 devices in schools.

The Burlington Free Press says the explosion in tech is largely due to schools’ investments in Chromebooks.

Much of the recent school technology surge came as schools bought Chromebooks, which are inexpensive laptops that rely on internet programs and have supplanted traditional desktop computers. Chromebooks make up 47 percent of all student computer devices, up from 28 percent in 2015. Only 16 percent of school devices are desktop computers, according to the school technology survey.

Also this month, a new study found that despite a heavy presence of technology in classrooms, most tech is going largely unused.

The non-profit AdvancED used 140,000 global classroom observations to determine that while digital education devices are heavily present in classrooms, most teachers are not yet using the technology to strengthen learning.

"The classroom observations were held in 39 states and 11 countries; in over half the classrooms observed, the report says 'direct observations show no evidence students are using technology to gather, evaluate, or use information for learning while 'two-thirds of classrooms show no evidence of students using technology to solve problems, conduct research, or to work collaboratively.’”

This raises the question: how effective is investing to have more technology than students?

Of course, further studies will have to elaborate on AdvancED findings, but the early information certainly raises questions about how tech in education is really going.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/12/2016

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