Educators Inclined More Toward Digital Content

PreK-12 teachers throughout the United States are making significant progress in the adoption and integration of digital media and Internet use in their curricula. "Digitally Inclined," a research report and survey compiled for PBS by Grunwald Associates, showed a number of encouraging trends in the use of digital content to make classroom instruction more engaging while making individualized instruction more effective.

Among the key findings of the report:

  • More than three-quarters (76 percent) of K-12 educators said they use digital media, up significantly from 69 percent in 2008. Among those who use digital media in the classroom, 80 percent identify themselves as regular users.
  • While there was a narrow preference among K-12 teachers for pre-recorded DVDs, they said they increasingly access video online, with 72 percent reporting they stream or download content from the Internet, up from 65 percent in 2008.
  • A majority of preK-12 teachers indicated they strongly agree that TV and video content is more effective when it is integrated with other instructional resources in the classroom. A majority of teachers are more likely to use five- to 10-minute video segments rather than entire programs. This is one indication that teachers are becoming more strategic in their selections and targeting use for specific purposes.
  • Teachers showed they're increasing their use of games, student-produced presentations, and social media, valuing many different types of digital media, with games and activities for students to use in class and as study aids topping the list. There also appears to be a trend toward teacher interest in student-produced multimedia, Web sites, and blogs.
  • One-quarter of K-12 educators said they belong to an online community specifically for teachers, and those who use social networking sites are comfortable with a variety of online activities.

"The significant increases in the usage [rates], frequency of use, and access to digital media..., along with the research showing that integrating multimedia and technology into instruction can boost student achievement, is driving our strategy to produce the most effective media for learning," said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president of education for PBS.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.