Five ways teachers can use technology to help students

The Huffington Post reports that Thomas Edison once said, “Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools… our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years.” Amazingly enough, however, one of our nation’s most important inventors was proven quite wrong. The American education system has a remarkable resistance to innovation and the classroom experience has changed very little in the 100 years since Edison’s prediction. Advances in information technology have revolutionized how people communicate and learn in nearly every aspect of modern life except for education. The education system operates under the antiquated needs of an agrarian and industrial America…

Read the full story

…Read More

Snapshot: This is how teachers use technology

Tablets and eReaders saw the biggest increase among technology platforms available for classroom instruction.

With Digital Learning Day on the horizon, technology is once again in the national spotlight. But are teachers using new resources in today’s classroom? The answer, according to a new survey, is a resounding yes.

The survey was released as part of PBS LearningMedia, a free media on-demand service for classrooms, featuring more than 20,000 digital assets from national organizations all aligned to lesson plans and Common Core State Standards. It surveyed more than 500 U.S. pre-K-12 teachers in January 2013.

According to the survey, 75 percent of teachers link educational technology to a growing list of benefits, saying technology helps them to reinforce and expand on content (74 percent), motivate students to learn (74 percent), and respond to a variety of learning styles.…Read More

An apple a day is great, but teachers really want more tech

In the days of yore, teachers routinely wanted paper towels and art supplies for their classrooms, Mashable reports. Now, in this era of trying to teach to digital natives, they just want more technology in the classroom, according to the results of a survey of teachers across the country. The survey was commissioned by PBS LearningMedia, a leading provider of free teacher resources and digital content for use in the classroom. Three quarters of those surveyed said they want more technology in order to better engage their students. One big barrier to more tech in the classroom is the budget. More than half of teachers polled said it’s not a lack of training, but a lack of funding that’s keeping the gadgetry out of the classroom. For more on the survey, see the infographic provided by PBS LearningMedia below…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Educators who use technology on their own are more likely to support ed tech

The report focused on the views of three subsets of teachers, principals, and district administrators who use technology.

If there’s one thing different generations can agree on, it’s that technology isn’t like Justin Bieber: Nearly everyone loves their smart phone—but you have to be a child of the late 90s to really love Bieber. Highlighting this bit of cultural knowledge is a new report that reveals it’s not just students who love using 21st-century technology; it’s many of the adults in education, too—and the adults are translating this love into classroom practice.

According to the ninth annual “Speak Up” survey, facilitated by the nonprofit group Project Tomorrow and supported by numerous companies, education associations, and think tanks, while only 46 percent of all Americans report using a smart phone, more than 70 percent of school principals and district administrators use these always-connected devices, making them early adopters of technology their students crave.

And it’s this early adoption—and the realization of the benefits of technology for anytime, anywhere access to information and communication—that’s spurring support for student use of smart phones, tablets, and online learning in and out of the classroom, the 2011-12 Speak Up data suggest.…Read More

10 ways to change the minds of tech-reluctant staff

"Removing technology from its stature as something mystical and powerful is something I stress to whomever I'm working with," says one reader.

We often hear about tech-savvy educators and administrators who have an array of best practices and whose love for technology is evident. But as anyone who’s ever been part of a school or district knows, not all teachers and administrators are as comfortable or familiar with technology.

In a recent “Question of the Week,” we asked our tech-savvy readers: “How do you get tech-reluctant teachers and administrators to use technology effectively?” Here are our readers’ top answers (edited for brevity).

1. Use technology for personal reasons first.…Read More

Research dispels common ed-tech myths

Teachers newer to the profession were no more likely to use technology than teachers with more experience.
Teachers newer to the profession were no more likely to use technology than teachers with more experience.

Contrary to popular opinion, newer teachers aren’t any more likely to use technology in their lessons than veteran teachers, and a lack of access to technology does not appear to be the main reason why teachers do not use it: These are among the common perceptions about education technology that new research from Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership appears to dispel.

Prepared by Grunwald Associates based on a 2009 survey of more than 1,000 teachers and administrators conducted by Eduventures Inc., the study argues that the more K-12 teachers use technology, the more they recognize its potential to help boost student learning and engagement and its connection to developing key 21st century skills.

There is still considerable disparity in the amount of time that teachers spend using technology as an instructional tool, the study says. Twenty-two percent of teachers reported frequent technology use (31 percent or more of their class time using technology to support learning), 17 percent said they were moderate users (21 to 30 percent of their class time using technology), 26 percent were sporadic users (11 to 20 percent of their class time using technology), and 34 percent were infrequent users (10 percent or less of their time).…Read More