Digital tools are widely used in middle school and high school learning, according to a new study released last Thursday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. According to the study, however, low-income students disproportionally lack access to broadband service both at school and at home, and this trend is leading to disparities in education.
The report, entitled How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms, surveyed 2,462 American schoolteachers about digital media use in their classrooms.
According to Pew, 92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching, and nearly 70% of teachers report that it has had a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with teachers and interact with parents.
Mobile technology including cell phones, e-readers and tablet computers has become central to the learning process. Seventy percent of teachers report that their school provides the resources to bring digital tools into the classroom. Unfortunately, only 50% of teachers in low-income areas reported similar levels of access. Read more
According to the a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 24% of all American adult Internet users — or 19% of all U.S. adults — have used the Internet to complete a voice call. On any given day, 5% of Internet users are going online to place phone calls.
Both figures are marked increases from the last time Pew asked these questions in early 2007, and found that 8% of Internet users (6% of all adults) had placed calls online and 2% of Internet users were making calls on any given day.
Not surprisingly, Pew found that that most VoIP users tend to be younger, and most live in urban and suburban areas. In rural areas alone, Pew notes that 13% of online adults have used a VoIP service.
Pew attributes the rise to several factors: Read more
Video calling has become increasingly available as camcorders have spread through the online environment, cameras have been built into smartphones, and as video-chat services like Skype, Google Talk, Apple iChat and FaceTime have become a feature of the online and smartphone environment. Teleconferencing is also becoming more embedded in the business environment.
This summer, in a nationally-representative telephone survey using landlines and cell phones, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Project asked for the first time about the prevalence of video calling both online and on cell phones.
The survey of 3,001 adults found that 74% of American adults are Internet users and, among those Internet users, 23% have participated in video calls, chats or teleconferences. The survey also found that 85% of American adults have cell phones and, among those cell owners, 7% have used their phones for video calls, chats, or teleconferences. Overall, that means that 19% of Americans have either used the Internet or their cell phone to participate in video calls – and in many cases, people have used both technologies for video chats. Read more
According to the Pew Research Center People & Press biennial report, local TV news is the source of choice when choosing news source alternatives. According to the report, Americans are more likely to add different technologies to their news consumption rather than replace a conventional source.
Pew indicates that people devote roughly 57 minutes each day to news from television, newspapers and radio, while adding only 13 minutes from online sources. More than one third of those responding to the study indicated that they went to both digital and traditional sources. Slightly more than 39% indicated that they elected to get news from traditional sources, while less that 10% indicated that they got their news from the Internet or a mobile technology. Read more
The television set and the landline telephone are suffering from a sharp decline in public perception that they are necessities of life, according to a new nationwide survey report from the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.
Just 42% of Americans say they consider the television set to be a necessity, a sharp decrease from the 52% recorded one year ago, and the 64% in 2006.
The drop-off has been less severe for the landline telephone. Some 62% of Americans say it’s a necessity of life, down from 68% last year. But there’s a related trend that’s more perilous for the landline. Fully 47% say that the cell phone is a necessity of life.
And, as we look toward the future, fewer than half (46%) of 18- to 29-year-old survey respondents consider the landline phone a necessity of life. Fewer than three-in-ten (29%) say the same about the television set.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, just 74% of U.S. households now have a landline phone. This is down from a peak of 97% in 2001.
During this same time period, use of cell phones has skyrocketed. Read more
A new Pew Internet & American Life Report indicates that broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) currently use a high-speed Internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from Pew’s 2009 finding when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.
Roughly 21% do not use the Internet at home or in another location. Many non-users think online content is not relevant to their lives and they are not confident they could use computers and navigate the Web on their own.
Pew also asked survey participants if they thought that expanding affordable broadband access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government. Surprisingly, by a 53%-41% margin, Americans report that it should not be a major government priority. Read more