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One-Fifth of K-12 Teachers Think They Have the 'Right Level of Technology' in their Classrooms, Survey Finds

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PBS LearningMedia released the findings of a national survey of grade preK-12 teachers about the role of technology and barriers to digital resources today at the Florida Education Technology Conference in Orlando.

According to information released by the organization, "Ninety-one percent of teachers surveyed reported having access to computers in their classrooms, but only one-in-five (22 percent) said they have the right level of technology."

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Sixty-three percent of respondents, and 70 percent from low-income communities, said that budgets were the biggest impediment to accessing technology in the classroom;
  • While only 59 percent of respondents have access to interactive whiteboards, 93 percent said they believe the tools enrich classroom education;
  • Eighty-one percent of respondents said they believe tablets can enrich the classroom experience, with teachers in affluent districts two times as likely to have access to the devices;
  • The most commonly accessed digital resources are Web sites, at 56 percent, online images, at 44 percent, and online games and activities, at 43 percent, according to the survey;
  • Fourteen percent of teachers in low-income communities reported high levels of parent support for classroom technology, while 38 percent of their peers from more affluent communities had the same response;
  • Thirty-eight percent of teachers from wealthier districts also said they had strong school board support for classroom technology, while only 21 percent of teachers in low-income communities said the same thing; and
  • Teacher attitudes about the benefit of technology in the classroom were consistent across grade level, student income level, and the type of communities where respondents teach.

Seventy-seven percent of the teachers who responded said that they used technology to increase student motivation, making that the most common reason to bring it into the classroom. The ability to reinforce and expand on material already being taught and to accommodate various learning styles were close behind it, though, at 76 percent each.

Rob Lippincott, senior vice president of PBS Education said, “Over the past decade, we’ve seen broadening adoption and deeper integration of digital media in classrooms for all age groups, with teachers enthusiastic about the power of new technologies to foster learning.”

PBS LearningMedia "features a robust library with tens of thousands of digital assets, including lesson plans, background essays, and discussion questions for pre-K-12 educators that align with Common Core State Standards," according to information released by the organization. The free service features media from NASA, the National Archives, and educational PBS programs. More information about the service is available at pbslearningmedia.org.

PBS LearningMedia will be at FETC 2012 through January 26 in booth 1236.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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