TEACHING with TECHNOLOGY: In our third-annual ed tech survey, teachers reveal an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward tech in the classroom and its impact on teaching, learning and professional development.
Teacher Attitudes Toward Tech
While teachers in each of the preceding surveys were, for the most part, pumped up about tech for learning, this year's results reveal an evolving positivism not just about tech, but about the direction tech is heading.
Exactly three-quarters of teachers in the survey indicated tech has had an extremely positive (38.37 percent) or mostly positive (36.63 percent) impact on education. The remaining 25 percent said tech has had both positive and negative effects on education. Zero respondents said tech had a negative or extremely negative impact.
What is your view of the value of digital technologies in education in general? Technology has had an extremely positive impact on education. 38.37% Technology has mostly had a positive impact on education. 36.63% Technology has had both positive and negative effects on Education in roughly equal measure. 25%
Roughly the same number were positive about tech's impact on the difficulty of teaching. About 77 percent said tech has made their jobs easier (44.48 percent) or much easier (32.27 percent). About 15 percent said it's made their job harder, and 2 percent said it's made their job much harder. The rest were neutral
What is your view of the value of digital technologies in education in general? It's made my job much easier. 32.27% It's made my job easier. 44.48% It hasn't had much of an impact either way. 6.69% It's made my job harder. 14.83% It's made my job much harder. 1.74%
There was overwhelming agreement, as well that tech has had a positive impact on the effectiveness of teaching. Eighty- seven percent of respondents said tech has positively impacted their ability to teach. Ten percent said it's had no effect Three percent said it's had a negative effect.
What is your view of the value of digital technologies in education in general? Technology has positively affected my ability to teach. 82.92% Technology has not had an effect on the quality of my teaching. 10.47% Technology has negatively affected my ability to teach. 2.62%
Responses about tech's impact on student learning were similar, with 84 percent saying it's had a positive impact, 6 percent saying it's had a negative impact and 10 percent being neutral.
How has technology affected your students' learning? Answer Choices Responses Technology has positively affected my students' learning. 83.72% Technology hasn't affected their learning one way or the 10.47% other. Technology has negatively affected my students' learning. 5.81%
When asked whether they "believe technology will have a positive role to play in education in the future," respondents were nearly unanimous: % percent said "yes."
Teachers' Favorite (and Least Favorite) Technologies
An overwhelming majority favored schools providing devices to students (81 percent), but it was just a large majority that favored students bringing their own devices to schools for classroom teaming (47 percent). About one-third were against students bringing devices for classroom teaming; the rest were neutral. Nearly half of respondents said students in at least some grades in their schools had 1-to-1 devices. Just 14 percent require students to bring their own devices (BYOD).
Do you favor the idea of schools providing devices to all students? Yes, absolutely. 44.77% Yes, with reservations. 35.76% I could go either way. 11.93% No, with exceptions. 4.07% No, absolutely not. 3.49% Do you favor the idea of students providing their own devices for classroom learning? Yes, absolutely. 13.08% Yes, with reservations. 34.30% I could go either way. 19.77% No, with exceptions. 14.24% No, absolutely not. 18.60%
The most common devices used in classrooms this year were laptops, cited by 37 percent of respondents. That was followed by Chromebooks at about 14 percent and mobile phones also at about 14 percent. Paper/pencil came in fourth at 12.5 percent, followed by tablets (10 percent) and desktop PCs (9 percent).
What is the single most common device used by students in your classroom? Answer Choices Responses Mobile phone 13.66% Laptop 36.63% Tablet 10.17% Paper and pencil 12.50% Smart watch 0.00% Other 27.03%
Among teachers, though, the most popular devices were laptops running traditional operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux), with about 91 percent saying those devices are either essential (46 percent) or valuable (44 percent) for teaching and learning. Media tablets (iPads and Amazon devices) barely edged out Chromebooks for a surprising second place finish, with 77 percent positive. Chromebooks were at 76 percent positive. High-end workstations, all-in-one computers and detachable tablets running traditional operating systems all came in around 72 percent positive.
For the first year of this survey, smartphones had more positive ratings than negative. About 6.5 percent said mobile phones are essential to teaching and learning, with 35 percent saying they're valuable. A bare majority (52.5 percent) said they allow the use of smartphones in the classroom. Meanwhile, 16 percent of respondents said phones are not very valuable, and nearly 14 percent said they're detrimental to teaching and learning, and 20 percent reported that their institutions ban students from bringing phones on campus.
Confiscation is the penalty for using cell phones in the classroom among 60 percent of respondents, followed by suspension (5 percent) expulsion (1 percent) and referral to law enforcement (1 percent). The remainder reported no penalty or no significant penalty.
The highest "detrimental" rating this year, how ever, went to smart watches, at nearly 16 percent Smart watches' positive ratings were in the single digits.
How valuable for teaching and learning do you consider each of the following computing devices? Essential Valuable So-So Mobile phones 6.41% 35.28% 28.57% Smart watches 1.47% 6.18% 24.41% Media tablets 20.76% 56.14% 17.84% E-readers 4.72% 36.28% 38.94% Laptops running a traditional OS 46.06% 44.61% 8.16% Detachable tablets running 20.06% 52.51% 21.83% a traditional OS Chromebooks 36.84% 39.47% 15.79% Virtual desktops, thin clients 7.48% 36.76% 38.63% and zero clients All-in-one computers (such as 27.35% 45.29% 19.71% iMac) and traditional desktops Workstations 31.56% 41.59% 21.83% Not Very Detrimental Valuable Mobile phones 16.03% 13.70% Smart watches 52.35% 15.59% Media tablets 5.26% 0.00% E-readers 19.17% 0.88% Laptops running a traditional OS 0.87% 0.29% Detachable tablets running 5.01% 0.59% a traditional OS Chromebooks 7.31% 0.58% Virtual desktops, thin clients 14.33% 2.80% and zero clients All-in-one computers (such as 6.47% 1.18% iMac) and traditional desktops Workstations 4.13% 0.88%
This year's survey also asked teachers about specific technologies used in their schools, including makerspaces and electronic textbooks.
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) said their schools use a mix of electronic and paper textbooks. Just 11 percent are fully digital at this point.
Open educational resources are in use by 80 percent of respondents to the survey as part of classroom instruction.
Makerspaces are in 35 percent of schools represented by this year's survey participants. In those schools that have one, the makerspace is located in the library/media center (53 percent), in classrooms (49 percent) and in a dedicated facility (18 percent).
Technologies associated with makerspaces are also becoming more common, with educators reporting that their teaching environments include 3D printers (31 percent), robotics systems (28 percent), die cutters (28 percent), scientific sensors and probes (27 percent), and 3D scanners (8 percent).
Support and Teacher Confidence
Most teachers said they receive adequate training and support for the tech they use (61 percent). However, that support doesn't necessarily come via official channels. Most teachers said that when they run into technical trouble, they solve their own problems either by searching online for help (40 percent), turning to peers for help (15.4 percent), asking students for help (3 percent) or going to user forums (3 percent). Just 22 percent turn to the help desk or IT department first for help, and just 10 percent go to an instructional technologist.
Where do you usually turn first for help with technology? Help desk/IT department 22.09% Peers 15.41% Students 3.20% Instructional technologist 9.88% Online search 40.41% User forums 3.20% Vendor support 5.58% Product manual Other 4.65%
Two-thirds of teachers spend more than half their instructional time using technology. More than two-thirds of respondents teach either exclusively blended classes (36 percent) or some blended classes (31 percent). Only one-third said they flip their classrooms. And overall, teachers are confident in their ability with tech. About 20 percent said they're absolutely confident in their tech capabilities, and 67 percent said they're very confident. Another 11 percent rated their skills as adequate. Less than 2 percent said they're overwhelmed by tech or that their skills are below average.
Teachers are less confident in their students' ability with technology. Five percent rated their students as excellent with tech; 37 percent gave them an above average rating: 47 percent said their students are average. Eleven percent put their students below average or failing.
Meanwhile, 57 percent assign homework that requires the use of technology, though only 10 percent of respondents said their schools provide internet access for students who lack access at home. Only 6 percent said they believe that all of their students have internet access.
For their own training, teachers seem to prefer a mix of electronic and face-to-face professional development (PD) (81 percent), with 14 percent preferring PD to be delivered electronically.
David Nagel is editor-in-chief of THE Journal and editorial director for 1105 Media's education publications.
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|Title Annotation:||FEATURE / SURVEY|
|Publication:||T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)|
|Date:||May 1, 2018|
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