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School Wireless Networks and the State of Student Engagement

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School Wireless Networks and the State of Student Engagement

By: Danny Mareco August 20, 2014   0 Category: K-12 Education, Strategy

There are two areas in education that haven’t always traditionally been examined. I’m of course referring to “Engagement” and “Job Preparedness”. New mobile technologies have almost overnight transformed both the world we work in, the world we live in, and it only makes sense to assume it has changed the world we learn in as well as how we think about designing our school wireless networks,. But we don’t have to assume anymore, over the last year the Gallup Poll has compiled some startling results.

school wireless networks make it possible for students using mobile devices in the classroom to work together

Typically we look at testing and grades as our measurement for academic success, however, while grades and testing absolutely have their place, these often overlooked metrics are more real to me. Think of it this way, is a student more likely to get a good grade on a test if they haven’t been engaged in class, probably not. So it could be said that good grades are dependent on high-quality engagement in class.

To further this point, recently Google announced they found little connection between grades and test scores of it’s own employees and their success working at Google. If Google has come to this conclusion its only a matter of time before the rest of the professional world comes to this conclusion as well. Oh, and it’s Google so when it comes to analytics and being overall pretty savvy about almost everything, I’d say I trust them on this.

During the last year the Gallup poll conducted many different studies exploring the connections between long-term life and work success with education. Gallup looked at nearly 1 million Americans including 5th through 12th graders and their parents as well as business leaders, college graduates, teachers, college presidents and superintendents.

Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from what those studies revealed.

1 - Career Reality Check

It’s hard to say if when I was in elementary school I thought about starting my own business, odds are I didn’t. But in high school, especially as I neared graduation, I absolutely had those aspirations. I wouldn’t be in the majority however, as the study shows that less than half of 5th through 12th graders (43%) say they plan on starting their own business. Interestingly enough is also the fact that only 7% have a job or internship.

student job preparedness chart, school wireless networks,

2 - Outside Perception

Some of the most shocking results comes from how the decision makers and general public perceive how ready students are. Here’s just how bad it is. Almost all (96%) major leaders of universities and colleges strongly believe they are preparing their students for job success. This is great if it were a reciprocated feeling amongst the public and business leaders, unfortunately it’s not. Only 11% of business leaders and just 14% of the general public believe that students are ready for success once they enter the job market. It makes you wonder how there can be such a large separation.

student job preparedness confidence chart,

3 - Engagement

It’s simple, students who are better engaged perform better in class and ultimately will do better once in their careers. However, as students get older and reach higher grades their engagement drops. 76% of elementary students are engaged at school as opposed to only 44% of high school students.

student engagement, technology in the classroom can help improve student engagement,

How can this be?

The Gallup poll also found that the biggest and most critical motivator of student engagement was teacher engagement. The reality here however is that only 3 out 10 teachers or about 31% are engaged in their work.

Also Read | "Update: How Students are Using Technology in the Classroom 2013"

As you can see, the results are quite surprising. It’s pretty obvious we must find better ways to engage and prepare our students for their careers. This means understanding and implementing the right learning tools and technology inside of our classrooms. With the modern business world evolving into a tech-centric, mobile environment, our schools should find ways to align themselves to these changes.

We must establish an open environment where teachers can voice their needs and use the right tools to develop more dynamic and personalized learning. This can be done with new interactive technology, from iPads in the classroom and Chromebooks or through new initiatives such as 1:1, BYOD or both. Overall schools and the business world according to these results need to work together for better alignment because although cliché, our students are our future.

At SecurEdge Networks we have helped hundreds of schools design and deploy wireless and security solutions to support the latest technology demands and requirements. If you need any help we’re always available to chat with you about your school wireless network. You can get in touch with us here.

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