Most Teachers Say Classroom Tech Helps Students, but Teachers Need More Training
Nearly four in five — 78 percent — of teachers say they haven't received the training they need to effectively use the technology they're asked to in the classroom, according to a new report from SAM Labs. At the same time, 82 percent of survey respondents said they believe students who use technology in the classroom are better prepared for their future careers.
The report is the result of an online survey administered to 250 teachers in the United States. Other key findings include:
- Nearly half — 48 percent — of those surveyed said they believe students retain more information across all subjects when learning with technology;
- 41 percent said that students learn faster with technology;
- 31 percent said they believe students who learn with technology have higher test scores;
- 69 percent of participants said they believe technology can be used to support any subject;
- 37 percent of surveyed teachers said they spend free time learning how to use the technology they use in the classroom;
- One-third said they wish they had more resources to support the technology-based lesson plans;
- More than half — 58 percent — of teachers said they feel confident using technology in their classrooms;
- 44 percent said they wish they had access to more classroom tech; and
- 24 percent said they are afraid that their students know more about technology than they do.
The researchers also asked teachers which subjects they have seen student improvement from as a result of the use of technology. Those results include:
- Math, at 65 percent;
- Reading and writing, at 56 percent;
- 39 percent said English;
- 21 percent pointed to history;
- Earth sciences came in fifth at 20 percent;
- Geography was identified by 18 percent of respondents;
- 15 percent said they saw improvements in biology or chemistry; and
- Foreign languages came in last at 11 percent.
"While the $200 million grant to support coding and computer science education is a step in the right direction for the U.S. education system – though probably one that should have been taken years ago – we need to carefully determine how this money will actually be most impactful in the classroom" said Joachim Horn, CEO of SAM Labs, referring to a plan floated by the White House to spend $200 million on STEM education in a prepared statement. "Because they are on the front lines with students every day, teachers are in the best position to identify the opportunities — and the challenges — that the government will face in supporting students' education. By first focusing on how we can support and train our educators, we will quickly see U.S. students excel in STEM."
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.