Technology is essential to US teachers and parents

An August 2012 survey of American K-12 public school teachers and parents revealed a majority of those surveyed believe technology is “increasingly important to prepare young people for the future” and to close gaps in achievement.

According to the Hart Research for the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission report, Parents/Teachers on Technology in Education, a significant majority of teachers and parents also believe that American public schools are behind in their use of technology, with concerns about its impact on the US economy and children’s ability to keep up with peers. Furthermore, parents believe that schools need to do more to improve students’ access to technology in the classroom.

Significantly, the LEAD Commission polled families from low-income households, in which a majority placed higher importance on the use of technology in the classroom than their more affluent peers.

Highlights of the survey include the following:

  • 74% of teachers and 82% of parents believe that schools need to make use of technology in educating students;
  • 92% of teachers and 86% of parents believe technology is increasingly important for preparing young people for the future;
  • 74% of teachers and 59% of parents agree that technology has changed many sectors of the US economy, and are concerned that American public schools have “catching up to do”;
  • Home access to broadband is seen as vital to learning, with a belief that students without home internet access are at a disadvantage;
  • “Strong majorities” of teachers and parents – 95% and 91%, respectively – believe schools need to make additional investment in technology;
  • Teachers see the potential of technology in the classroom, but believe they do not receive sufficient training or support for its use;
  • 94% of teachers and 81% of parents would consider gaps in learning between poor and affluent children (with regards to access to technology) would be a “fairly or very big problem”;
  • A similar percentage of parents and teachers (90% and 81% respectively) believe that it would be a “fairly or very big problem” if high school students graduated with lower technical competency than students in other countries.

LEAD Commissioner Jim Coulter said: “Once considered strategic, it is now essential to integrate new technological innovations to help educate our children and to help close the achievement gap.”

Download the full report (PDF)

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