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

Teaching with Tech: A Love (and Hate) Story

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

Teaching with Tech: A Love (and Hate) Story

Article excerpt

Responses from the many educators who shared their opinions reveal an overwhelmingly positive outlook on the use of digital technologies in the classroom--with a few intense exceptions.

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TEACHERS LOVE TECHNOLOGY. More than nine in 10 say that it has helped them teach and helped their students learn; almost nine in 10 are positive about its impact on education; and 85 percent believe it makes their jobs easier. Most would like their schools to run 1-to-1 programs, to ensure that every student had a computing device, thereby enabling them to flip their classes and introduce blended learning. However, they also hate technology; a lot of them wish their students' personal mobile phones would just die out.

Those results and others come from an online survey THE Journal recently ran to better understand this love (and sometimes hate) relationship educators have with technology in teaching. A total of 1,307 qualified respondents from K-12 schools across the country answered our multiple choice questions and also shared a lot of open-ended opinions about what works and doesn't work for them in their classrooms, schools and districts.

Who Responded

Because this survey was intended to understand more about technology for teaching, we targeted our questions around those topics teachers could answer better than anybody else in the school or district. In fact, two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said they were teachers. Another 9 percent were library and media specialists. Everybody else--including the ample number of individuals who work in school IT organizations--fell into the "other" category.

Even though technology sometimes comes across as a young person's game, our typical respondent has spent an average of 20 years in the field. Most (84 percent) work in public schools, teaching in grades K-12.

LENGTH OF TIME IN EDUCATION

0-2 years                 2%
3-5 years                 6%
5-10 years                12%
11-20 years               39%
21 or more years          41%

TYPE OF INSTITUTION

Public                    84%
Private not-for-profit    14%
Private for-profit        2%

INSTITUTIONAL GRADE LEVELS

Pre-K or younger          <1%

Elementary (grades K-6)   26%

Secondary (grades 7-12)   43%

Combined elementary
and secondary school      18%

I work at the
district level            7%

I work at multiple
campuses spanning
both elementary and
secondary schools         3%

Adult education           2%

Although responses came from people who teach in every nook and cranny of education (Mandarin, home economics, dance) and use technology to enhance what they do, a few categories emerged as the top subjects taught by our survey participants. Science leads the way by a nose followed in order by social studies, which we defined broadly as including subjects like geography, history and psychology; English; computer-related; math; career/ technology education; and humanities. All others received single-digit representation.

THE SUBJECTS MOST FREQUENTLY TAUGHT BY RESPONDENT

Science                      42%
Social studies               41%
English                      29%
Computer                     26%
Math                         24%
Career/technical education   12%
Humanities                   11%

The average number of students for schools represented in our survey was 1,107; however, about two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents work in schools with fewer than 1,000 students.

THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN RESPONDNT INSTITUTIONS

0-499         31%
500-999       31%
1,000-1,499   13%
1,500-1,999   6%
2,000-2,999   5%
3,000+        14%

Although we heard from people in every state in the union, some parts of the country showed greater representation than others. This is probably the result of the magazine having more readers in those states; but it's also likely that those educators tend to have more technology in their classrooms, and therefore they have a deeper investment in the subject of teaching with tech. …

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