Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Technology in the Classroom-Is It or Is It Not Being Used?

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Technology in the Classroom-Is It or Is It Not Being Used?

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

AT THIS POINT IN TIME, there is likely not a classroom in America without a computing device of some sort, and chances are it's hooked up to the internet. Walk into the vast majority of schools in this country and you will find classrooms with some combination of desktop computers, laptops, interactive whiteboards, calculators, projectors, handheld devices, and more.

But will you find teachers and students using these tools? Two different research studies give two very different answers to that question.

For the past eight years, PBS and Grunwald Associates have been conducting an annual survey of teachers, asking them about their use of technology for instruction. And teachers tell us that they use the devices in their classrooms--a lot.

Yet the researchers at McREL, a nonprofit education research laboratory, are sitting on classroom observation data that contradicts what the teachers self-report. Their findings are grim: Teachers are not using technology in the classroom, and neither are their students.

Before we start arguing over which report is "right," let's keep in mind both studies' limitations. In the PBS/Grunwald study, the teachers are self-reporting, and it's not uncommon for people to embellish descriptions of their own behavior. (If everybody in this country exercised as often as they say they do, we wouldn't have an obesity problem. …

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