By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki
Have you noticed that your teaching methods have changed over the last five years? Many teachers find themselves transitioning to a different role in the classroom as the use of technology grows. Instead of a traditional teaching approach (e.g., lecture, note taking), more and more educators are having students play a more active role by engaging them in the learning process though the use of technologies like interactive polling or online media. And a big benefit to including technology in the classroom is that it allows teachers to personalize learning to each student individually.
A 2013 Pew Internet survey of U.S. middle and secondary school teachers found that while technology has become central to how they teach, it also presents new challenges in the classroom given the widespread student use of cell phones, social media and the internet.
Unfortunately, the digital divide is real. The survey also found big differences between low income and middle income students. For example, teachers of low income students are much less likely than teachers of the highest income students to use tablet computers (37% v. 56%) or e-readers (41% v. 55%) in their classrooms and assignments. In many cases, the lack of access to the internet or mobile devices is a key inhibitor to broader use of digital technologies.
In another survey, last month SIIA released the full report from the 2013 Vision K-20 Survey today, its sixth annual national survey to measure U.S. educational institutions’ self-reported progress toward building a framework that embraces technology and e-learning. This year’s survey included questions on BYOD, and the results aren’t surprising. While more institutions expect to incorporate BYOD into the classroom within the next five years, technology integration still faces issues of support and access. You can read the executive summary here.
Are you a connected or unconnected educator? Tell us how you’re incorporating technology into the classroom and the difference it’s making.