Posted on 03/15/2013 at 12:29 PM by Global Reach
The Pew Research Center recently released survey results highlighting how teachers use technology. Not surprisingly, the survey found the Internet has had a major impact on a teacher's ability to access content, resources and materials for their teaching. The Internet also provided teachers greater opportunities for sharing with colleagues and also interact with parents and also their students. At the same time, teachers shared that the Internet and other digital tools have added new demands and challenges to their lives. Teachers felt they must now have a broader range of content and skills for which they must be knowledgeable. And 41% of teachers think that the Internet and digital tools requires more work on their part to be an effective teacher.
Teachers most frequently use digital tools to have students conduct research online. Teachers also shared that students expect to be able to find information quickly and easily. Teachers felt the amount of information available to students via the Internet is often overwhelming and students do not do a good job of finding and using a wide range of resources when doing research. Resources found by students are also not always credible sources of information. Students often access and submit their assignments online.
A majority of teachers (62%) felt that their school does a good job of providing support to help them bring digital tools into the classroom. A majority of teachers (68%) also say that their school provides formal training in this area. However, many teachers still individually learn ways to integrate these tools into their teaching.
There still remains a digital divide among income groups when technology use and access is considered. 56% of teachers of the lowest income students say that a lack of resources among students to access digital technologies presents a challenge when they try to use digital tools in their teaching.
There is also still a difference in the way younger teachers (under age 35) and more experienced teachers (55 and older) use technology in their classroom. Younger teachers are more likely to have students share work on a website, wiki or blog. Younger teachers are also more likely to utilize online discussions in their classroom and have students use collaborative web-based tools such as Google Docs. Younger teachers are also more likely to enlist the help of their colleagues for ideas about using new technologies in the classroom.
Finally, teachers personally use more technology than other adults in the general population. More teachers own smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and e-book readers. Teachers are also more likely to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter than the general adult population.
If you'd like to find out more, this report is available online.