15 Nov 2018
According to the Global Education Census carried out by Cambridge International, more than half (64%) of Spanish school students between the ages of 12 and 19 use a smartphone to complete their homework. The survey was conducted with almost 20,000 teachers and students around the world and gives insight into what life is like in schools around the world today.
Smartphones are one of the preferred tools for Spanish students doing homework, only surpassed by laptops (73%), according to the Census results. This reflects the fact that 35% of Spanish pupils devote between two and four hours a week to homework, while 16% report an investment of more than six hours a week.
'The immediacy of new technologies now means that, when a student has a question, their first resort is to search online — giving them the autonomy to access a practically infinite amount of information almost instantly. It's a new outlook that leads us to ask how we guide students to learn to use these powerful tools correctly and differentiate valid sources of information from those that are not,' said Nick Mazur, Cambridge International's Senior Manager for Europe.
Students are opting more and more to use new technologies in the classroom for educational purposes. The Cambridge International study shows that half of respondents use a desktop computer during classes. Other favoured technologies are smart boards (45%) and smartphones (35%).
Furthermore, the school environment is an increasingly technological one. According to data from a report entitled ‘Statistics on the Information and Communication Society in non-University Educational Centres’, carried out by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, 66.5% of educational institutions have adopted Interactive Digital Systems (IDS).
In keeping with this trend, 41% of teachers surveyed by Cambridge International confirm that they use smart boards in their lessons. Moreover, 27% of teachers use desktop computers, while 26% choose a tablet as their preferred tool.
'The main challenges of the digital transformation process that is being experienced in classrooms are linked to the digital competency of teachers and having the ability to decide in which contexts the use of technology is positive,' said Vicent Gadea Mira, Head of the ICT Department at the La Devesa School. 'Solutions to this include training teachers throughout their careers, as well as measuring and evaluating the use of new methodologies and digital devices in education.'
Physical inactivity in the classroom
The results of the Global Education Census reflect the fact that a sedentary lifestyle is winning out over physical activity. Almost two thirds (62%) of Spanish children surveyed confess that they do not practise any sporting activity at school. Of those who do, 19% play basketball, 17% volleyball and 14% football.
These findings contrast with the overall results, in which the percentage of schoolchildren who do not practise any sporting activity stands at 37%. In countries such as the United States (60%) and Indonesia (40%), these figures are also low, falling below the world average.
Michael O'Sullivan, Chief Executive of Cambridge International, said: 'We are aware of the pressure on schools to focus on academic subjects, but promoting healthy and collaborative activities among students — such as sports — has direct benefits for students, improving their concentration levels in all classes and teaching them to improve their health and well-being. This is something that can encourage them to stay active outside the classroom.'
The 2018 Global Education Census also addresses other noteworthy aspects of education today, including students' favourite subjects, teachers' preferences and how schools celebrate the success of their students.
- Favourite subjects: Spanish pupils have a predilection for subjects related to science and languages, since mathematics, English and other languages, physics and chemistry are the most frequently chosen by students.
- Extracurricular activities: According to the survey, almost half of Spanish students prefer to dedicate extracurricular hours to reinforcing their subject knowledge in private classes, mainly in mathematics (56%), English (42%) and physics and chemistry (both 19%).
- Aspirations and further studies: Almost all students (93%) plan to continue their education to university level. Of these, 22% aspire to train as doctors, while 14% and 13% aim to study engineering and teaching respectively.
- Teacher motivation: Eight out of 10 teachers surveyed state that they choose to teach because it is a rewarding profession — the highest proportion worldwide. Furthermore, more than seven out of 10 teachers say they enjoy working with young people. Only two out of 10 feel they belong to a profession with good professional development opportunities.
- Measuring success: 66% of teachers measure their professional performance by their students' examination results, while only 28% judge themselves on the number of students who go on to access further education or university.