Feb 28, 2013
A survey of teachers who instruct American middle and secondary school students finds that digital technologies have become central to their teaching and professionalization. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers, and they report striking differences in access to the latest digital technologies between lower and higher income students and school districts.
Asked about the impact of the internet and digital tools in their role as middle and high school educators, these teachers say the following about the overall impact on their teaching and their classroom work:
92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching
69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers
67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students
The survey finds that digital tools are widely used in classrooms and assignments, and a majority of these teachers are satisfied with the support and resources they receive from their school in this area. However, it also indicates that teachers of the lowest income students face more challenges in bringing these tools to their classrooms:
- Mobile technology has become central to the learning process, with 73% of AP and NWP teachers saying that they and/or their students use their cell phones in the classroom or to complete assignments
- More than four in ten teachers report the use of e-readers (45%) and tablet computers (43%) in their classrooms or to complete assignments
- 62% say their school does a “good job” supporting teachers’ efforts to bring digital tools into the learning process, and 68% say their school provides formal training in this area
- Teachers of low income students, however, are much less likely than teachers of the highest income students to use tablet computers (37% v. 56%) or e-readers (41% v. 55%) in their classrooms and assignments
- Similarly, just over half (52%) of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students say their students use cell phones to look up information in class, compared with 35% of teachers of the lowest income students
- Just 15% of AP and NWP teachers whose students are from upper income households say their school is “behind the curve” in effectively using digital tools in the learning process; 39% who teach students from low income households describe their school as “behind the curve”
- 70% of teachers of the highest income students say their school does a “good job” providing the resources needed to bring digital tools into the classroom; the same is true of 50% of teachers working in low income areas
- Teachers of the lowest income students are more than twice as likely as teachers of the highest income students (56% v. 21%) to say that students’ lack of access to digital technologies is a “major challenge” to incorporating more digital tools into their teaching
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Read more: How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
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The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners is proud to announce the Inaugural European Conference on Technology in the Classroom, to be held from July 11-14 2013, at the Thistle Hotel, Brighton, England.
Website: The European Conference on Technology in the Classroom.
The Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission, a non-governmental organization exploring the opportunity to use technology to improve education in the United States, released poll results today that found that the majority of parents and teachers of K-12 students support greater use of technology in education. In addition, the poll found that these audiences increasingly believe that school systems should be doing more to improve access to technology in education.
Here are other highlights of the poll findings:
- 96 percent of teachers and 92 percent of parents believe that schools’ integration of technology in teaching and learning is important to the education of American students today
- 54 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents believe that the role of technology in educating students will become much more important during the next 10 years
- 61 percent of teachers and 63 percent of parents responded that the country is somewhat or far behind the curve when it comes to American public schools’ use of technology in education
- 82 percent of teachers and 71 percent of parents believe a greater use of technology would be helpful in connecting learning inside and outside of the classroom
- 89 percent of teachers and 76 percent of parents would choose to spend $200 per student for an Internet-connected device over $200 per student for new science textbooks
- 82 percent of teachers believe that they are not receiving the necessary training to use technology to its fullest potential in the classroom (our emphasis)
- 95 percent of teachers and 90 percent of parents believe that home access to high-speed Internet gives students a big or moderate advantage when it comes to classroom performance
“The poll results shine a light on the importance of providing more access to technology in our classrooms,” said Jim Steyer, LEAD Commissioner and Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “A greater belief among parents and teachers that technology has the power to transform the K-12 education experience can truly accelerate the digital learning movement.”
Led by Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates, the nationwide poll was conducted via telephone with 883 parents of K-12 students from Aug. 7-13 using random sampling techniques. The parents’ poll also included an oversample of 200 low-income parents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 at the 95 percent confidence interval. In addition, 812 public school K-12 teachers nationwide were polled via an online survey from Aug. 9-15, including a margin of error of +/- 3.4 at the 95 percent confidence interval. The complete poll findings can be viewed here.
[Again and again I hear teachers say they need more training to feel competent in using technology. I was hearing this 30 years ago and it doesn’t seem to improve. I do think teachers have to take some responsibility and be active users themselves, but there is obviously a need for more in-service training.]
Full Text: Poll Finds Support For Use Of Technology | LEAD Commission.
As more educational programs turn digital, teachers are finding that blending technology into the learning experience offers kids a crucial leg up in the classroom.
Karen Martinez’s daughter, Daniella, graduated fifth grade with honors this year and is now reading at a sixth grade level. Just two years ago, she was diagnosed as a special-needs child who struggled with reading. What made the change? Her mother pulled her out of a school that rarely used computers for learning, enrolling her in Rocketship Education, one of five charter schools in San Jose, California. Students there spend 25% of their school day in a computer lab with online content targeted to their development level. “My daughter was broken and now she’s starting to mend,” Martinez says.
The goal of Rocketship is to help close the achievement gap by serving low-income students who don’t have the advantages of their wealthy peers. It’s just one of the many schools following a fast-accelerating trend called “blended learning,” where students spend a portion of their day engaging in technology. And it seems to be working. Rocketship schools were the highest-performing elementary schools serving low income students in California last year, according to scores on a state standardized test — outperforming even schools in more affluent areas.
Full Text: Does More Tech in the Classroom Help Kids Learn?.
The most impressive technology-rich classrooms don’t look like classrooms. Instead, they look like creative businesses on deadline—like advertising agencies pulling together a big campaign, architectural firms drawing up blueprints, or software companies developing new programs.
I recently visited a middle school science class as students toiled away on science fair projects using a classroom wiki: a widely adopted collaborative Web platform. As I watched, students uploaded graphic displays of their data, commented on each other’s hypotheses, and recorded video journals of their progress. The room buzzed with activity, as each of these young knowledge workers made contributions to their collective endeavor. When students got stuck, other students jumped from their desks to help. The teacher circulated through the classroom like a project manager, answering questions, providing feedback, holding students accountable to deadlines, and providing just-in-time instruction.
Full Text: Education Week: Use Technology to Upend Traditional Classrooms.