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WiFi vs. Mobile

Interesting article from eSchool News headed Mobile Rises but School WiFi Stagnates which summarises the key findings from a survey, released by Pearson and conducted on its behalf by Harris Poll, that finds that while student ownership of mobile devices continues to increase, wi-fi connectivity at school lags behind home access. (The full report is available at pearsoned.com/mobile-survey-2015-grades-4-12.)

Here's a quote that gives you a feel for what is reported:

“Schools are responding to students’ enthusiasm for mobile learning by integrating the devices into the classroom,” said Alfred Binford, managing director, Pearson North America. “Yet, in many instances, students lack a critical tool to make those mobile devices most effective: wi-fi access. To truly realize the power of mobile learning, it is crucial that we support schools as they extend wi-fi connectivity to their students.”

Another point from the survey I found interesting:

Students in grades 4-12 who use only one device during a typical school day are more than two-and-a-half times as likely to say that the device is a laptop than a tablet (59 percent vs. 24 percent) and nearly four times as likely to say that device is a laptop than a smartphone (59 percent vs. 15 percent).

Would be interested to note what is happening in NZ schools. Is the provision of high speed broadband delivering a better WiFi solution in schools here? To what extent are students using mobile data plans as an alternative?


  • Hamish McLean


    It's important to note the difference between NZ and America's mobile coverage, speeds and price plans.  A number of cities in America have 4G+ where as NZ still has very limited 4G coverage. In fact most of the country won't get 4G for a long time.  Another point that's relevant is both telecom towers and Vodafone crank down their signal output so save on maintenance.  Another major issue in NZ is price of plans and data.  Americans have highly competitive system and it's very cheap to have data as party of a plan.  For the majority of students in NZ it's too expensive.  

    NZ schools also have significantly faster internet access then the average home user can access. With the WSNUP   rolling out, Wi-Fi is also pretty strong in NZ schools


    Our school has fiber, AC WI-FI throughout the school and Caters for our 200+ mobile and portable devices very well.  Vodafone signal is one bar, sometimes two. Telecoms signal is fine, but is only 3G, and it often flicks to EDGE for some reason.