“As much as teachers perceive the educational value of digital resources and recognize some potential in smart, mobile devices, students’ ability to use these devices at school is severely limited,” the report notes. Most personal mobile technology is off-limits and must be turned off during school.
“Simply put, when teachers are asked about cell phones, right now there’s a bit of a mixed reaction, at least in the U.S., because cell phones are seen by some as a potential cause of disruption as much as a tool for instruction,” said Peter Grunwald, founder and president of Grunwald Associates, a market research and consulting firm. “We think that’s going to change, and probably fairly quickly.”
Grunwald likened the hesitation to the early years of the internet’s first forays into classrooms, when it was initially met with concerns about student safety. While some of those concerns remain, it is on a smaller scale, and most educators recognize that the internet has “striking educational potential,” he said.
Teachers reported that interactive whiteboards are the most valuable digital resource in the classroom.
Sixty-eight percent of K-12 teachers said they value interactive whiteboards, 67 percent said they value online images, 63 percent value online video content, and 62 percent said they value web-based interactive games or activities.
“Not surprisingly, use of interactive whiteboards seems to be tied to classroom availability,” the report notes. Forty percent of K-12 teachers reported using interactive whiteboards to supplement or support teaching, with 59 percent saying the technology is available in their school and 36 percent saying it is available in their classroom.