'Schools leaving parents in dark on device needs'
AUSTRALIAN parents are in the dark about what computing device their children needs at school with half of parents saying that schools provided very little guidance.
The study of 1000 parents commissioned by Microsoft Australia reveals that 75 per cent of parents are spending up to $1000 on devices, and more than half are willing to replace these devices every two to three years.
With a quarter of parents admitting to buying the wrong device for their child at some point, Aussie families are potentially wasting billions of dollars on the wrong devices for children over their school life.
The findings also show 70 per cent of parents want to relinquish their decision making power when it comes to choosing devices, calling out for a range of appropriate devices to be recommended to them.
Microsoft and Intel have launched a new interactive tool www.devicesforschool.com.au to help guide parents and students through the technology maze, by helping them to find the appropriate device suited to their needs.
Further findings from the research include:
- 35% of parents let their child decide which device to buy because they know which one will be best for their needs
- 1 in 5 high school students are stuck with a device that doesn't do what they need it to
- Nearly half of parents are willing to spend $300-$700 with 1 in 4 expecting to spend up to $1000
- Just 13% of parents surveyed said that schools specify what device they should buy
Pip Cleaves, parent, former teacher and Senior Education Consultant at Design, Learn, Empower, believes technology innovation in schools can be incredibly beneficial but the wrong devices can hinder a student's growth and development.
"In this day and age, technology is now firmly integrated within Australian classrooms, and having the right technology is critical in enabling students to keep up with the curriculum being taught,'' Cleaves said.
"However, it's also critical that each device is fully compatible and the student can access specific programs, otherwise they risk falling behind the rest of the class."
Jane Mackarell, Microsoft Australia Education Product Marketing Manager, said teplacing a device every two to three years could "be a stressful and costly affair".
"Schools need to be clear on what each device must be capable of, while parents should self-educate on what new technology is available to them, and they'll be rewarded in the long run," she concluded.