Survey: Common Core Stress Down
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Teachers are less stressed about the Common Core or about teacher accountability requirements this year than they were last year. And roughly the same high number of educators who were using some kind of digital material in their work last year are continuing to do so in 2016. But use tends to be uneven when examined by years in the job.
Those are a few findings from this year's Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Educator Confidence Report. The results were based on online responses from 1,047 American educators, 80 percent of whom were teachers and 20 percent of whom were administrators.
As the research project found, concern by educators about teacher accountability requirements dropped by 13 percentage points year over year (from 63 percent to 50 percent). Concern about meeting the requirements of Common Core/state standards assessments dropped 11 percentage points (from 58 percent to 47 percent).
While 97 percent of respondents reported that they're using digital material and tools on the job, the type of digital resources vary by years of experience. For example, the results noted, teachers with a decade or less of experience consistently use social media more often than those with more years of experience. But the latter group overall tends to use "all other digital tools with greater frequency in the classroom." Those include digital whiteboard lessons, online assessments and digital communication tools for school work outside of the classroom.
The top teacher choice for social media was Facebook, cited by 33 percent of those respondents, and Twitter, specified by 16 percent. School leaders show a much greater tendency to use either of those sites than teachers, however — 60 percent for Facebook and 43 percent for Twitter.
While 53 percent of educators are using all or a blend of digital resources for assessments, a slightly smaller number — 50 percent — reported feeling "well prepared" to administer end-of-year assessments that way. Those with 10 years or less of experience are less likely than teachers with more experience to use digital assessments.
The top way educators want to learn about the use of technology in the classroom is through informal discussions with fellow teachers and colleagues, the report stated. That's followed by formal professional development sessions and teacher support resources that are included with instructional programs.
"This report shows that teachers' appetite for technology in classrooms is matched by their desire for targeted solutions to support meaningful implementation of that technology to truly drive learning gains," said Rose Else-Mitchell, executive vice president of professional services, in the report.
The 11-page report is available with registration on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.