A few months ago, I conducted a small survey of school pupils in a single Edinburgh school about their ownership and use of technology, with a particular focus on accessing websites and school news. The pupils were 12-14 years old.

Child sitting at table using a tablet commputer

Honestly, most of the results were not unexpected. A very large number of pupils have a smartphone (or just a normal phone to them since the pupils surveyed would have been at nursery when the original iPhone was released). Also, 88% of the pupils said that they used their phone as their main method for accessing websites. Certainly nothing surprising in any of this.

There were a couple of interesting points. In terms of personal technology, in this particular school and this age range, iOS was a fair bit ahead of Android. Also, MS Windows still seems to reign supreme when it comes to laptops and desktops. In my personal sphere, MacBooks are the number one laptop of choice so I need to keep reminding myself that this is not the case everywhere – especially when developing for the web.

Apple seems to have a good hold on this particular demographic, meaning that the results reverse the global Android/iOS market share statistics. Even just a quick, anecdotal, visual check confirmed that iPhones were the favourite.

The other area of slight surprise, for me anyway, was that Instagram was the most used social media platform. SnapChat was second and Facebook third. Of course, Facebook owns Instagram so it’s not all bad news for Mark Zuckerberg.

Google+, which many people would probably never think of as a major social media platform, had a strong showing with almost as many pupils likely to use it as Twitter. Asking a few informal follow up questions, it seems that Google+ is a good place to share photographs.

However, when it comes to schools using a social media platform to publish news, Facebook was the number one recommendation from pupils – although it has to be said that no clear platform particularly stood out in this question.

My own thoughts on this last result is that Facebook is now seen as the social media platform of the parents, and therefore it makes the most sense to pupils that schools should news there.

If you want to make sharing to social media part of your WordPress setup then Jetpack includes some options for easily integrating options into your posts, or there are lots of plugin options too.

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Published on: 5 October 2017

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