News

Survey reveals educators’ must-have technologies

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor
February 2nd, 2011

Laptops remain the most valuable mobile technology, according to teachers.

Interactive whiteboards are the classroom technology that teachers say they most value, and though tablet-style eReader devices such as Apple’s iPad haven’t been around for long, they’re already considered the second most useful mobile classroom technology behind laptops, according to a national survey of teachers’ digital media use.

Educators are incorporating more internet-dependent technologies into their instruction, the survey also reveals—but shrinking school budgets are prompting many educators to look for free resources.

Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology,”  a national research report on teacher’s media usage from PBS and Grunwald Associates LLC, found that more than half of K-12 teachers surveyed reported continued cuts to school media budgets, which has led to increased reliance on free instructional content.

Teachers also reported spending 60 percent of their time using educational resources in the classroom that are either free or paid for by the teachers themselves. More than half of K-12 teachers (62 percent) say they frequently use digital media in classroom instruction. Forty-six percent of teachers cited cost as the main barrier to using fee-based digital resources, and 33 percent cited time constraints.

Declining school budgets have contributed to the number of teachers who either find free resources (35 percent) or purchase resources with their own money (25 percent). More than half of teachers (54 percent) said their school budgets have decreased over the past year.

“In many ways, nothing was completely shocking–it’s an ongoing progression,” said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president for PBS Education. “Digital media is a core learning support; it’s a core part of a teacher’s job.”

Teachers are using digital tools more than ever, but “they’re under the constraint of fewer resources and support from districts,” he added, noting one interesting finding indicating that teachers are using more of their own money and time to find effective digital resources.

Mobile technology

When asked to rank mobile technologies with the greatest educational potential, teachers rated different technologies on a 10-point scale. Eighty-one percent of teachers rated laptops as an 8 or above, followed by 53 percent who gave tablets or electronic readers a score of 8, 9, or 10. Cell phones appeared at the bottom of the list, at 11 percent.

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4 Responses to “Survey reveals educators’ must-have technologies”

jcschweitzer
February 3, 2011

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems the teachers are falling into the trap of replacement technology. While many more things can be done with interactive white boards, in essence it is a blackboard and overhead projector. The iPad is a textbook with interactive content. They fit the model of content consumption in a tradition classroom, and don’t require a change in the way education is conducted.

A laptop, especially in conjunction with e-learning infrastructure can break the lecture/classroom monolithic teaching model. Students can create content, in addition to consuming it. They can work at their own pace under an educators guidance.

Maybe a follow-up survey. that determines how the devices are used. For example, are interactive white boards only for teacher use, or can groups of students use it for projects and collaboration exercises?

jcschweitzer
February 3, 2011

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems the teachers are falling into the trap of replacement technology. While many more things can be done with interactive white boards, in essence it is a blackboard and overhead projector. The iPad is a textbook with interactive content. They fit the model of content consumption in a tradition classroom, and don’t require a change in the way education is conducted.

A laptop, especially in conjunction with e-learning infrastructure can break the lecture/classroom monolithic teaching model. Students can create content, in addition to consuming it. They can work at their own pace under an educators guidance.

Maybe a follow-up survey. that determines how the devices are used. For example, are interactive white boards only for teacher use, or can groups of students use it for projects and collaboration exercises?

natetowne
February 4, 2011

This survey data is quite interesting coming fresh out of FETC discussions with teachers. It would be quite interesting to learn if the survey broke responses down by urban vs. rural educators as my conversations indicate there’s quite a difference in the perceived value of technology in the classroom between the two different groups.

natetowne
February 4, 2011

This survey data is quite interesting coming fresh out of FETC discussions with teachers. It would be quite interesting to learn if the survey broke responses down by urban vs. rural educators as my conversations indicate there’s quite a difference in the perceived value of technology in the classroom between the two different groups.

Jessica Reeves
February 4, 2011

Here is a link an article I wrote on free sites that I use all the time in my class. Most teachers are like me; we need easy to use and FREE sites to utilize the best learning environment for our students. I have the links to the sites and examples for use in a Communication Arts classroom.

I hope this helps another teacher in need=) Happy teaching!

Jess

http://msjessicareeves.edublogs.org/2011/01/25/5-sites-to-infuse-free-technology-into-your-lesson-plans-and-engage-your-students/

Jessica Reeves
February 4, 2011

Here is a link an article I wrote on free sites that I use all the time in my class. Most teachers are like me; we need easy to use and FREE sites to utilize the best learning environment for our students. I have the links to the sites and examples for use in a Communication Arts classroom.

I hope this helps another teacher in need=) Happy teaching!

Jess

http://msjessicareeves.edublogs.org/2011/01/25/5-sites-to-infuse-free-technology-into-your-lesson-plans-and-engage-your-students/