Student computers in the 1-1 Tablet program at ZIS have Internet Explorer 8 installed. Students at the Upper School are free to install additional browsers. A recent student survey revealed the breakdown of browser use by grade level. Approximately 400 students were surveyed and here were the results:
Students using browsers other that Internet Explorer would have had to download and install the browsers themselves. Overall, Internet Explorer accounts for almost 40% of student browser use with Firefox close behind at approximately 33%. Although, with the exception of Grade 9, Firefox either matches or surpasses Internet Explorer. Google Chrome accounts for almost 20% of browser use and it will be interesting to observe if that number increases when the survey is given again next year.
The fact that over 60% of students have proactively downloaded another browser does speak to their ability to personalize their computers and their internet browsing preferences. It also sparked a discussion amongst the IT department about why remaining 40% of students chose to remain with Internet Explorer. Working on the assumption that some of those students may have either been unaware of alternate choices or lacked the understanding of how to install programs onto the their computers, we looked at ways to increase awareness.
A recent announcement by Microsoft in response to the antitrust charges by the EU has promised a browser ballot that will be made available to most users in the EU through Windows Updates. More details about the screen and how it works can be found here. We are considering sharing the page with students to raise awareness of their browsers. The next step will be to investigate how students are using browsers.