Research

Teachers Report: OER In; Textbooks Out

More teachers said that technology has changed how they approach time management (93 percent) than how they approach instructional delivery (88 percent). It has also transformed how they handle parent communication. A solid 7 in 10 reported that they now use tech to do that. On the instructional front, most teachers apply tech to classroom lecture time (84 percent) and differentiated instruction (74 percent).

Those results came out of a survey of nearly 1,000 American teachers who were contacted in January and February 2016 by TES Global, a company with a teacher community and marketplace. The findings were shared during a panel at SXSWedu taking place this week in Austin, TX.

The survey found that most teachers have enough computers and tablets in the classroom. Just under 3 in 10 respondents (27 percent) said they lacked a sufficient number of those devices. At the same time 4 in 10 (37 percent) noted that they'd still like more of those in their rooms. The next most popular wish list item would be the addition of game-based technology, cited by 25 percent of teachers.

This year far fewer teachers lack the Internet connectivity they want for getting their students online (16 percent) compared to last year (35 percent).

A profusion of tech has also shifted the kinds of educational materials used in the classroom. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) said they now use open educational resources more than textbooks.

"We are thrilled to see improvements around access to technology and high-quality open resources," said Rob Grimshaw, chief executive officer of TES Global, who shared the survey findings at the conference. "Arming teachers with the tools they need to succeed is the right way to ensure that innovative technologies can impact student performance."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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