Report Reveals Which Technologies Teachers Favor

Posted on Tuesday, 3/5/2013 9:25 am

As educators are under increased pressure to prepare their students for college and their careers, it is not uncommon to see teachers embracing technology, such as social media and faculty software, in an effort to improve their pupils' academic achievement levels.

To learn how educators are using technology, whether at home or at school, researchers from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project recently set out to find some answers. Overall, 2,462 middle and high school instructors working in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands responded to an online survey. The majority of these individuals were advanced placement (AP) educators, while the rest were National Writing Project teachers. Here is what the new report reveals about their relationship with technology:

Technologies teachers are using
Based on participating teachers' responses, the internet is one of the most valuable tools they are using today. Overall, 92 percent of respondents said the internet has had a "major impact" on how they access materials and resources they can use to enhance their teaching. At the same time, 69 percent of instructors believe the web has had a similar effect on the ways in which they share ideas with their peers. A total of 57 percent of teachers reported that the internet has created new opportunities for interaction between them and their students.

Mobile phones have also become popular among many teachers, as 73 percent of respondents said these devices are used for educational purposes, such as completing assignments. At the same time, 45 percent of teachers reported that they have introduced e-readers to their students, while 43 percent now use tablet computers.

How teachers use technology depends on their age
Just as is the case outside of academia, younger adults tend to feel more comfortable using new technologies than older individuals. According to the report, 64 percent of teachers under the age of 35 feel "very confident" when dealing with new digital technologies. The same is not true of educators over the age of 55, as only 44 percent of them felt the same way.

In many cases, teachers over age 55 feel as though their students know more about new technology than they do, as 59 percent of them agreed with this statement. In addition, younger instructors, more so than their older peers, appear to be more comfortable having students share work on websites or blogs.

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