While the majority of teachers across the United States believe technology aids in the learning process, very few feel that it is being incorporated appropriately into their own schools despite billions of dollars having been put toward the introduction of both hardware and software into K-12 classrooms.
Sponsored by Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning services, the "Teachers' Dream Classroom Survey" found that only 16% gave their own school a grade of "A" for the incorporation of technology into the classroom, while 48% felt that the technology that was available to them was out of date. The national survey was created in an effort to better understand how technology was used in classrooms and its impact on education.
"The rush to technology has often been about devices, with less thought given to the instructional purpose for using computers in the classroom," said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. "Educators are now beginning to focus on how to integrate technology to improve student outcomes."
Survey results found technology to enrich the classroom experience for both students and teachers. In all, 91% of teachers agreed with the idea that technology increases the ability for teachers to create lesson plans and homework assignments that are tailored for the needs of individual students.
"Technology can be an incredible force multiplier for teachers," said Factor. "Good teachers are already doing so much to personalize learning for their students. The combination of talented teachers and high-quality technology, used in the right ways, can create an empowering classroom experience for students and teachers alike."
The survey also discovered that many teachers feel the most important role technology plays in the classroom is the ability to offer multiple learning tools, closely followed by making learning experiences more engaging while also differentiating the learning experience.
In all, 73% of teachers said that technology offers more opportunities for research projects, 71% said it can help students learn by combining direct instruction with individual learning, and 67% said it can help individualize learning for each student.
Technology was also found to help reduce the time teachers spend on a variety of daily tasks. In one example, teachers were found to spend 33% of their time on tasks such as grading homework assignments and reviewing what has already been taught. Study authors say that technology can help teachers save time in their day by getting these tasks done at a faster pace. In all, 61% of teachers said that more time to plan, research, and collaborate was necessary in order to maintain their ideal classroom.
Survey results show that if there were more time in the school day, teachers say they would be able to help more struggling students, develop creative lesson plans, and tailor their lessons to individual students.
Despite the low number of teachers who believe technology has been successfully implemented at their schools, the survey found many teachers still believe technology to be a positive influence when executed correctly in classrooms. Teachers who gave their schools an "A" for the successful integration of technology in the classroom were more likely to also show satisfaction with how it has helped the learning process.
They were also more likely to say their students are highly engaged, and 80% said technology has helped them to achieve learning objectives.