States and school districts should stop trying to convince teachers to employ educational technology and start helping them overcome barriers to using it well, say a husband-and-wife research team.
"We don't give teachers enough credit," said Loredana Werth, an assistant professor at Idaho's Northwest Nazarene University."Most understand the benefits and impact of technology. What folks want is training and access."
That conclusion is based on findings from a survey of 200 Idaho teachers about how they use and perceive more than 30 different kinds of tech in the classroom. Loredana and Eric Werth presented their as-yet unpublished findings at the International Society for Technology in Education's 2013 conference here.
Among the researchers' findings:
84 percent of teachers surveyed said the pros of educational technology outweigh the cons and are currently using or planning to use tech in their classrooms.60 percent of teachers surveyed used the Internet for lesson planning at least weekly.More than one-fourth of teachers surveyed had never heard of online presentation programs like Prezi, and 14 percent had never heard of learning management systems like Moodle.80 percent of teachers surveyed either didn't know of social media technologies like Twitter, Edmodo, Skype, and online discussion boards or used them rarely or never.Just 19 percent of the teachers surveyed used games in their classrooms weekly or daily, and only 21 percent said they use games, simulations, or virtual laboratories monthly.