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Survey: Three out of four U.S. students use smartphones in class

Cambridge International, the world’s largest provider of international education programs, released in November the findings from the inaugural Global Education Census, an international survey designed to find out what life is like in schools around the world today for students aged 12-19 and their teachers.

“Our survey results show that technology has become an established feature of school life in many countries, with students using computers, tablets, smartphone, and other devices to complete assignments,” said Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive at Cambridge International. “The increased use and prevalence of technology is why we have invested in offering teachers and school leaders a variety of resources and professional development on incorporating technology in the classroom.”

Students in the U.S. are most likely globally to use technology to complete assignments in the classroom, according to the survey results. Three out of four U.S. students (74 percent) now use their smartphones as educational aids in the classroom, compared to just two out of five students (42 percent) globally. Similarly, 75 percent of U.S. students reported using a desktop computer in their classroom, while 59 percent reported using a smartboard or interactive whiteboard.

The 2018 Census examined multiple aspects of modern education including students’ favorite subjects, extracurricular activities offered by schools, homework, teacher motivations and how schools celebrate success. Additional findings include:

  • Tutoring: U.S. students are the least likely (12 percent) to receive tutoring outside of school hours, while students in China are the most likely (57 percent). Globally, four in 10 students (43 percent) globally reported receiving tutoring outside of school hours.
  • University aspirations: Nine in 10 U.S. students (90 percent) plan to continue their studies at university after finishing school, demonstrating the passion for learning amongst global students today.
  • Teacher motivations: Eight in 10 U.S. teachers (81 percent) say they became teachers because they like working with young people, the highest proportion of teachers to say this globally. The majority of U.S. teachers (77 percent) say that education is a rewarding career.
  • Sports at school: Six in 10 U.S. students (60 percent) don’t play any sport at school, second-highest only to Spain(62 percent). The most commonly played sport is the U.S. is cross-country and track (10 percent).

The Global Education Census report focuses on 10 key countries – the United StatesChinaPakistanIndiaMalaysiaSaudi ArabiaSouth AfricaSpainIndonesia and Argentina. The report is aimed at teachers, school leaders, and parents around the world and provides insights on a range of topics including use of technology in learning and teaching, subjects taught, extracurricular activities, student aspirations and teacher motivations.

The complete report can be found at www.cambridgeinternational.org/edcensus.