Poll Reveals Mismatch Between Ed Tech and the Public

The annual Phi Delta Kappa poll, conducted with Gallup, delivered some bad news for advocates of education technology – about a quarter of respondents are against further investment in school technology.

Despite constant pleas from school leaders and teachers for more technology in the classroom – and for more funding to support it – the public appears to be less sympathetic to doling out tech dollars than in years past.

They're also not crazy about expanding distance learning options, as ~60% are not in favor of such a model. It seems that the public is most interested in combining tech innovations with the traditional classroom environment.

At Education Week's Digital Education blog, Ian Quillen writes that online education advocates who clamor for lifting restrictions to allow for more innovation just don't seem to have the public's support. PDK's own language seems to back this up; the poll summary reads that, "Americans appear to believe that schools already have made important investments in computer technology for instructional purposes."

That said, 91% of respondents thought that students need internet access in school, with about 3 in 4 believing that access to computer technology is important. Just over half think that technology access is important for a student's academic success.

Half of all surveyed said that e-books were appropriate for middle schoolers, while about 25% said e-books should be used by elementary kids. 2 in 3 supported their use in high schools, with men being more supportive of e-book use than women.

Almost half of respondents were in favor of having a high-quality instructor deliver lessons over the internet instead of having a lower-quality teacher present in a traditional classroom.

The Center for Public Education writes that the poll results suggest that Americans are ‘vested' in public school education.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.
09 6, 2011
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