Ed Tech Survey

Most U.S. K–12 Teachers Would Not Give Themselves an 'A' in Ed Tech Skills

While more than half of K–12 teachers say they use education technology in the classroom on a daily basis, with nine in 10 saying they do so at least weekly, only 15 percent of those teachers would give themselves an “A” in education technology skills, according to a recent University of Phoenix College of Education survey.

Two in five (43 percent) rated themselves average or below average in ed tech skills. More than half (51 percent) said they want to learn more about integrating technology into the classroom.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll in April among 1,005 American K–12 teachers.

“Teachers are deliberate and thoughtful in their approach to student learning, and with continuing advancements in technology, it can be difficult for districts and teachers to determine the best way to effectively use these tools,” said Kathy Cook, dean of educational technology for the University of Phoenix College of Education and a former K–12 educator, in a prepared statement.

“The good news is that technology integration has become a substantial component to teacher preparation and continuing education programs for teachers. Social media has also provided new ways for teachers to share ideas for technology integration in classrooms.”

According to the survey, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) K–12 teachers have allowed students in their classes to research subjects using the internet. High school teachers were the most likely to say they encourage internet research (87 percent), but a substantial proportion (76 percent) of elementary school teachers (first through fifth grade) say they have also done so. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of K–12 teachers surveyed said they have used games and simulations to aid learning. Elementary school teachers were the most likely to report using games and simulations, with 75 percent doing so.

When asked what tech devices are used in today’s K–12 schools, teachers said the following:

  • laptop/netbook computers (85 percent);
  • interactive white boards (75 percent);
  • tablet computers and/or e-readers (67 percent);
  • LCD projectors (58 percent); and
  • digital cameras (50 percent).

District or school funding was the main obstacle that kept teachers from using more technology in the classroom (39 percent), followed by not being familiar or proficient enough with the tools that exist to properly integrate them into the classroom (27 percent), according to the survey. Not having time to learn about the tools available followed at 21 percent.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].