Survey Shows Teachers Think Technology Will Improve Education

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

A new survey released from THE Journal takes a closer look at the "love and hate" relationship educators have with using technology in the classroom.

The report, "Teaching With Tech: A Love (and Hate) Story," showed an overwhelmingly positive view concerning the use of digital technologies in the classroom. However, a few exceptions were also found.

In all, 1,307 qualified respondents from K-12 schools across the country participated in the online survey to answer multiple choice questions and share open-ended opinions about what works and does not work for them, as well as their schools and districts.

Authors Dian Schaffhauser and David Nagel found more than nine out of ten teachers say technology has helped them to teach their students better and allow students to learn more. In addition, close to nine out of ten have a positive outlook on its impact on education, and 85% say it makes their jobs easier.

The majority of those interviewed said they would like 1-to-1 programs run at their schools, which would ensure each student is offered a computing device and allowing teachers to introduce blended learning to their classrooms. A total of 52% said they would completely support such a program, while an additional 34% said they would support it with some reservations.

Of those that were highly supportive of such an idea, 47% work in schools that already have these programs. Of the small percentage of teachers who are against the program, just 21% work in schools where one-to-one is already in place, while 79% do not.

Just 41% said their school already has such a program in place in at least some grade levels, if not all. While some fully approve of the program, others have complaints. One teacher at a Midlothian, Virginia high school said it has led to increased cheating as numerous documents are now "shared" between students.

Of the teachers who already work in school that has a one-to-one program in place, a total of 60% fully support giving every student a device. A majority of 88% are in favor when adding in those who hold some reservations.

At the same time, they detest technology, saying they wish their students' cell phones would "die out." A total of 9% of respondents said technology has actually made their lives harder.

"Moderation is key. With the emphasis on increasing technology, I feel we are losing other skills found in traditional methods," said a technology teacher from a middle school in Winder, GA. "Their ability to write legibly has definitely been impacted, but also their memory development and long-term retention suffers."

The teacher suggested an equal balance between technology and traditional teaching methods would be best suited to develop a well-rounded student.

An overwhelming 99% of participating teachers felt that technology will have a positive influence over education in the future. However, many feel that the technologies used today may not necessarily be those used even ten years from now. Of the 1,073 participants to suggest something that will be replaced in the next ten years, 38% mentioned desktop computers. An additional 20% of respondents mentioned interactive whiteboards.

Meanwhile, 3D anything, including scanning, printing, and design, received hundreds of votes as something that teachers believe will become important within the next decade, closely followed by augmented and virtual reality.

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