Teachers, technology and the classroom

March 1st, 2013

A new study just released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project takes a look at how teachers are using technology in their classrooms. The survey sampled 2,462 Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers and found that teachers generally report that digital technologies have helped them in teaching their middle school and high school students, but that technologies like the Internet, mobile phones, and social media also present new challenges that teachers must face. 

Some key findings include:

  • 92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching.
  • 69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers.
  • 75% of AP and NWP teachers say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives, agreeing with the statement that these tools have a “major impact” by increasing the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable.
  • 41% report a “major impact” by requiring more work on their part to be an effective teacher. 
  • 73% of AP and NWP teachers say that they and/or their students use their mobile phones in the classroom or to complete assignments.
  • 45% report they or their students use e-readers and 43% use tablet computers in the classroom or to complete assignments.
  • 85% of these teachers seek out their own opportunities to learn new ways to effectively incorporate these tools into their teaching.
  • 84% report using the internet at least weekly to find content that will engage students.
  • 70% of teachers working in the highest income areas say their school does a “good job” providing teachers the resources and support they need to incorporate digital tools in the classroom, compared with 50% of teachers working in the lowest income areas.
  • 76% of AP and NWP teachers strongly agree that “search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily.”
  • 83% agree that “the amount of information available online today is overwhelming for most students.”

There’s a whole lot more about the study and its findings at the Pew Internet Project. 

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