Parents confused when choosing devices for back to school to match their child’s learning style

Despite the majority of parents knowing exactly how best their child learns, 1-in-4 admit to purchasing the wrong device for the classroom.

Despite more than half (55.6 per cent) of Australian parents recognising that their child has a unique learning style, new research from Microsoft Australia shows that individual learning requirements are not a top priority when purchasing devices for the classroom.

When looking for a device, parents ranked price as the first priority, followed by speed and performance, learning style, then brand and popularity. With devices not being tailored to a child individual needs, it’s no surprise that nearly one quarter of parents (23 per cent) admit to purchasing the wrong device in the past, or one that doesn’t do what they need it to.

What’s more, over a third (37.4 per cent) of Australian parents are getting little to no guidance when purchasing the correct device for their child, with nearly half (43.9 per cent) of parents feeling ‘in the dark’ when it comes to the technology needs of their children.

Parents understand the critical importance of technology with 71.4 per cent agreeing that technology has the potential to hinder leaning if not used correctly. With that in mind, Microsoft and Intel have designed an interactive tool to help guide parents through the myriad of technology choices, by helping them to find an appropriate device suited to their child’s specific needs.

The research shows that each student learns differently – the top learning types were ‘analytical problem solver’, ‘creative and visual’ and ‘literary’, followed closely by ‘gamer’.

Pip Cleaves, parent, head teacher and Senior Education Consultant at Design, Learn, Empower, believes that when looking for a device for school, parents should be thinking about how their child studies and interacts with school work and what device will provide them with the best learning outcomes in the classroom.

“Price shouldn’t be the number one decider, as devices are available in a range of prices that aren’t indicative of the value in the classroom.

“The wrong device has the potential to hinder a student’s growth and development. There is no “one size fits all” school device as every individual has their own needs, and it’s important to take this into account when shopping for a device,” Ms Cleaves said.

 Further findings from the research include:

  • 53.9 per cent of parents know exactly what type of learner their child is, while 40.6 per cent know only a little about what type of learner they are
  • Nearly one in five (17.7 per cent) parents believe the more expensive the device, the better it will be for their child
  • The research reveals that 86.1 per cent of parents are spending up to $1,000 on a device for their child
  • Nearly all (94.4 per cent) of parents agree that pen usage is important to their child’s learning outcomes
  • One in four (28.8 per cent) parents feel the pressure to keep up with other parents with what they buy their child

Every student has differing needs based on their learning style and classroom requirements allowing for a range of options from traditional laptops to 2-in-1 devices with a pen or even tablets, all of which can suit the desired learning outcomes.

Travis Smith, National Education Specialist, Microsoft Australia says “For example, the pen technology with Surface allows students to work as they would with a pen and paper. If a child is more creative and visual – the pen helps to create, brainstorm and collaborate, and those skills aren’t lost to the world of keyboard-only devices.

“Whether it’s the sheer abundance of technology options available or the confusion as to the capability required of the device, parents are feeling overwhelmed about the decision at hand – but there are plenty of resources available that parents can tap into,” Mr Smith said.


Notes to editors:

The “Bring You Own Device” (BYOD) research, was conducted by Online Research Unit on behalf of Microsoft Australia, surveyed 1,024 parents with school-aged children, evenly split across primary, middle and senior school in all states.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For more information please contact:
David Dunn
Ogilvy Public Relations
[email protected]
M +61 413 743 931

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