By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Schools are falling short on tech implementation, despite billions spend in investments.
While the majority of U.S. teachers believe technology helps facilitate learning, only 16 percent give their schools an “A” grade for incorporating it into their classroom, according to the findings of a new study from Edgenuity. This gap presents an opportunity for technology, when used the right way, to empower the classroom experience.
Additionally, 48 percent of teachers consider what technology they currently do have to be outdated, despite billions of dollars of investment in both hardware and software for the K-12 classroom. In 2015 alone, districts shelled out over $6 billion on educational tech.
This disconnect between investment and implementation provides a great opportunity for VARs to help your education clients perform better. Providing guidance for implementation of tech investments can help teachers and their schools facilitate learning and improve student outcomes. While the education market is one of the most complex and challenging verticals in the IT industry, it can also be one of the most rewarding, as Business Solutions Magazine reported.
The new Teachers’ Dream Classroom Survey was conducted among 400 middle and high school teachers to better understand technology use in the classroom and how it impacts the educational experience. It found technology enriches the educational experience for both teachers and students, with 91 percent of teachers surveyed agreeing that, “Technology provides a greater ability for teachers to tailor lessons and homework assignments to the individual needs of each student.”
“The rush to technology has often been about devices, with less thought given to the instructional purpose for using computers in the classroom,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “Educators are now beginning to focus on how to integrate technology to improve student outcomes.
“Technology can be an incredible force multiplier for teachers. Good teachers are already doing so much to personalize learning for their students. The combination of talented teachers and high-quality technology, used in the right ways, can create an empowering classroom experience for students and teachers alike.”
For providers, listening to teachers’ opinions should be first priority. The study found teachers believe the most important role technology should play in the classroom is providing a variety of learning tools or modalities, followed by making the learning experience more engaging and differentiating the learning experience.
According to the teachers, technology improves the classroom experience in a number of ways, including creating more opportunities for research projects (73 percent); providing a combination of direct instruction and independent learning to help students learn (71 percent); and providing differentiated learning options for each student (67 percent).
Ultimately, the study found when done properly, technology is successful in improving student outcomes. Teachers who awarded their schools an “A” for technology integration are also significantly more likely to be very satisfied with how well it is facilitating learning, and are also significantly more likely to report that their students are very engaged. And 80 percent said that technology definitely helps them achieve learning objectives in their classrooms.