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.

“Technology is a critical part of learning and teaching in today’s classrooms,” said Alicia Levi of PBS Education. “Teachers today need access to high-quality digital content to keep pace with schools’ investment in interactive whiteboards, tablets, and other devices to maximize the educational benefits of technology in classrooms.”

(Next page: Data on tech use, and a downloadable infographic)

While access to technology is growing, more than 68 percent of teachers expressed a desire for more classroom technology, and this number is even greater in low-income schools (75 percent).

This desire may stem from the fact that 65 percent of teachers reported that technology allows them to demonstrate something they cannot show in any other way.

A growing number of educators have access to, and are adopting, new technologies and platforms to support instruction:

  • 90 percent of teachers surveyed have access to at least one PC or laptop for their classroom
  • Six in 10 teachers (59 percent) have access to an interactive whiteboard
  • Tablets and eReaders saw the biggest increase among technology platforms available for classroom instruction—more than 35 percent of teacher said they have access to a tablet or eReader in their classroom, up from 20 percent a year ago
  • Among teachers with access to tablets, 71 percent cite the use of educational applications as the most beneficial for teaching, followed by educational websites (64 percent) and educational eBooks/textbooks (60 percent)

“As more educators are adopting technology for a 21st century curriculum, the accessibility of educational content on a variety of platforms is key to bringing lessons to life in the classroom,” said PBS.

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