Technology Use and Satisfaction Rise in Education Options [Survey]

Young teenager laying on floor facing a laptop

With the advent of educational technology in the classroom, parents today have more choices when it comes to their children’s education. Online/hybrid courses, or a virtual, online school are just a few of the options available for students in their primary and secondary years of school.

In a prior post, I touched upon the fact that mobile device learning and its adoption in the classroom is growing rapidly, according to findings from a survey by Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Pearson. The results show that 66 percent of elementary students and 58 percent of middle school students regularly use a tablet. In 2013, just 52 percent of elementary school students and 43 percent of middle school students reported that they regularly used a small or full-size tablet. This is an increase of 14 percentage points for elementary students and a 15 point increase for middle school students.

Connections Academy recently released results from its annual parent survey, shedding light on why many parents enroll students in online public schools and how satisfied they are with the virtual school experience. Beyond satisfaction as evidenced in enrollment growth, the parent survey provides vital information that helps shape the online school programs for the upcoming school year.

The Top Reasons Families Choose Virtual Public Schools

  • 46 percent stated the family/student’s need for more flexibility than is possible in a traditional school
  • 43 percent want a change from their local school
  • 34 percent desire a safe learning environment (encompassing both physical and social safety)
  • 26 percent of parents want more involvement with their child’s education

Other parents specifically cited health concerns, bullying, and their child’s pursuit of sports or arts as a driver for enrollment. The results are similar to last year’s findings, with some small shifts. In 2015, slightly more families indicated “flexibility” as a reason for enrollment (46 percent in 2015 VS 44 percent in 2014); slightly fewer families “wanted a change from their local school” (43 percent in 2015 VS 45 percent in 2014).

Why are elementary students going to school online chart

Quality and high levels of satisfaction are also key themes among the results with 93 percent of parents stating that they would recommend Connections Academy to other families, 95 percent agreeing that the curriculum is high quality, and 96 percent expressing satisfaction with the helpfulness of their child’s teacher.

In conclusion, in America’s classrooms, mobile device use is on the rise and many families are turning to virtual, public schools because of its flexible offerings and many other reasons. It’s clear that parents have more choice in their children’s education than ever before. With the rise of additional technologies in the classroom, such as bring-your-own device-models and even bring-your-own-access, it will be compelling to see what’s next on the horizon.

Stay Tuned for More!

Pearson will be sharing the next iteration of the K-12 Mobile Device Survey Results soon. To learn more about why parents choose virtual public schools for their children view the report.