- A new MidAmerica Nazarene University survey of 1,000 teachers with at least five years of classroom experience found that 82% believe tech enhances learning, but that 70% also face "persistent" disruptions due to smartphones.
- The researchers, who wanted to get a better idea of how classroom technology is being used, also found that around 56% of educators reported their tools and resources are tech-based, with 42% of assignments still done by hand, and 66% said technology improved students' productivity and engagement.
- Additionally, the responding educators felt smartphones were more likely to have a negative impact on learning when compared to more "positive" tools like WiFi, notebooks, software, smart boards and web-based platforms.
Technology has expanded opportunities for learning in the classroom in a number of ways, but there's more to it than simply putting devices or new software in the hands of students and educators. Taking full advantage requires plenty of planning and strategy ahead of time. Some districts have unfortunately learned this the hard way over the years.
Classroom tech tools have aimed to do everything from save teachers time on a variety of administrative tasks, like taking attendance and calculating grades, to delivering curricular resources in more engaging formats. They have also allowed students to get the standard "lecture" content digitally at home while allowing more one-on-one time with teachers during class time, which can then be used for what would have traditionally been "homework" or for more involved project-based assignments.
Of course, these new learning models come with new challenges for administrators. Chief among them is the increased possibility of burnout, as the additional one-on-one interaction and more involved in-class assignments can demand more time from educators — especially if the platforms designed to save them time on the aforementioned administrative tasks don't integrate and actually make tasks take longer. For this reason, it's critical that administrators insist on data interoperability between platforms and applications from all vendors as a condition of adoption.
Consideration of these factors will better ensure overall that tech's promise of supplementing and enhancing accompanying pedagogy is fulfilled.