Digital Devices in Schools Survey

Barnardos. (2015). Digital Devices in Schools Survey.
Barnardos carried out an online survey of parents to investigate the use of digital technology in Irish schools. The survey measures how digital technology is used by children and young people for school work; at home and in school. In total 690 parents completed the survey. Of these, 491 were parents whose children attend primary school with the remaining 199 respondents with children in secondary school. Responses were varied but on the whole parents are in favour of their children using digital devices for their school work to some extent. Cost is a concern for many parents, and while in some cases schools fund the supply of devices, inadequate funding can lead to undersupply or outdated technologies being used. The need for training is another key theme. Parents acknowledge the fast pace of technology and the need for children, parents and teachers to be supported to keep up to date. The importance of digital devices and assistive technology in supporting children with additional learning needs is seen positively, but adequate funding is required to make sure that children aren’t left behind. It is very clear there is an ad-hoc approach to the use of digital technology in Irish schools and this is resulting in uneven access. Inequalities are evident, due to challenges in the availability of and access to digital devices. Parents want the Government to provide leadership and tackle this problem head on by developing a National Digital Strategy for Education and providing equal access to digital devices and training for all school children.