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Survey of School Administrators Explores Digital Classrooms, Major Challenges

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of school administrators who responded to a recent survey said 1:1 computing classrooms where teachers act as a coach for students are the future of education, in a poll that looked at some of the changes, opportunities, and challenges that lie ahead for schools.

More than 300 district superintendents, assistant superintendents, and school principals from districts with 2,500 students or more participated in the online survey, which was fielded by Interactive Educational Systems Design (IESD) and funded by curriculum provider Time To Know, a company that provides solutions for 1:1 computing classrooms.

When asked their preference for a comprehensive curriculum if cost were not a factor, 80 percent of respondents indicated a preference for a comprehensive curriculum program with 1:1 computer access and an interactive whiteboard in combination with some print or printable electronic materials. Only 5 percent of respondents preferred the opposite--most materials presented in a print format with some supplemental work conducted on computers.

A vast majority (84 percent) of respondents also said 21st century skills--which included critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to think creatively--are a high priority.

When it came to challenges, 69 percent of the administrators polled cited budget constraints as a top concern; 58 percent cited academic achievement challenges related to student performance and learning as a top concern. Of those who identified academic achievement challenges, the largest percentage (66 percent) of respondents identified "low testing performance" as one of their top concerns in this area; 38% identified "students not motivated to learn and not engaged in the learning process" as a top concern. 

“It’s clear that educators believe that effectively integrating technology in the classroom will play a key role in preparing students for success in our global economy,” said Ellen Bialo, president of IESD in a statement.

The survey has a margin of error of ±5.5 percent.

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.