Page 12 - THE Journal, May/June 2018
P. 12

FEATURE | Teaching with Tech
This year’s survey also asked teachers about specific technologies used in their schools, including makerspaces and electronic textbooks.
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) said their schools use a mix of electronic and paper textbooks. Just 11 percent are fully digital at this point.
Open educational resources are in use by 80 percent of respondents to the survey as part of classroom instruction.
Makerspaces are in 35 percent of schools represented by this year’s survey participants. In those schools that have one, the makerspace is located in the library/media center (53 percent), in classrooms (49 percent) and in a dedicated facility (18 percent).
Technologies associated with makerspaces are also becoming more common, with educators reporting that their teaching environments include 3D printers (31 percent), robotics systems (28 percent), die cutters (28 percent), scientific sensors and probes (27 percent), and 3D scanners (8 percent).
Support and Teacher Confidence
Most teachers said they receive adequate training and support for the tech they use (61 percent). However, that support doesn’t necessarily come via official channels. Most teachers said that when they run into technical trouble, they solve their own problems either by searching online for help (40 percent), turning to peers for help (15.4 percent), asking students for help (3 percent) or going to user forums (3 percent). Just 22 percent turn to the help desk or IT department first for help, and just 10 percent go to an instructional technologist.
5.58% 4.65% 3.20%
Where do you usually turn first for help with technology?
Help desk/IT department Peers
Instructional technologist Online search
User forums Vendor support Product manual Other
22.09% 15.41%
Two-thirds of teachers spend more than half their instructional time using technology. More than two-thirds of respondents teach either exclusively blended classes (36 percent) or some blended classes (31 percent). Only one-third said they flip their classrooms. And overall, teachers are confident in their ability with tech. About 20 percent said they’re absolutely confident in their tech capabilities, and 67 percent said they’re very confident. Another 11 percent rated their skills as adequate. Less than 2 percent said they’re overwhelmed by tech or that their skills are below average.
Teachers are less confident in their students’ ability with technology. Five percent rated their students as excellent with tech; 37 percent gave them an above average rating; 47 percent said their students are average. Eleven percent put their students below average or failing.
Meanwhile, 57 percent assign homework that requires the use of technology, though only 10 percent of respondents said their schools provide internet access for students who lack access at home. Only 6 percent said they believe that all of their students have internet access.
For their own training, teachers seem to prefer a mix of electronic and face-to-face professional development (PD) (81 percent), with 14 percent preferring PD to be delivered electronically.
David Nagel is editor-in-chief of THE Journal and editorial director for 1105 Media’s education publications.
| MAY/JUNE 2018

   10   11   12   13   14