Computers in schools but not always for teaching

Here’s an interesting piece of research that we should be taking notice of as we (in NZ) are reviewing our ICT/eLearning strategy for schools.

    “A new study indicates that computer usage by U.S. schoolteachers is
    rising, though technology is more frequently used for administrative
    purposes than for teaching. The study, conducted by Scholastic
    subsidiary Quality Education Data, found that 70 percent of teachers
    communicate with parents using e-mail and that a majority use computers
    for tasks such as attendance, according to CDW Government. Just 54
    percent said they have incorporated technology into their teaching, and
    more of those who use technology in teaching are at the elementary
    level than in middle or high schools. Teaching with technology appears
    to be correlated with training: 85 percent of respondents said they
    have received training in applications such as the Internet, word
    processing, and e-mail, while 27 percent said they have had little or
    no instruction in how to include computers in their teaching.”

The report’s key findings are listed as

    While technology continues to gain acceptance as a tool for teachers, classroom technology is not yet a standard tool for teaching:

  • Computer technology has changed teaching “a great deal.”
  • Teachers increasingly cite computers as effective teaching tools, but just over half integrate computers into daily curriculum.
  • Administrative uses for technology continue to increase in number and effectiveness.
  • The link between computers and performance on standardized tests remains unproven.
  • Professional development centers on administrative functions.
  • Almost two-thirds of the respondents think that there are too few computers in their classrooms.
  • No increase in technology professional development for 2005.
  • Teachers perceive strong support for technology in schools.
  • Schools are leveraging student expertise in formal and informal technician programs.
  • Over half of teachers support 1:1 computing.

The full report is available online.

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