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Teachers Know More About Tech Than You Think

Do Teachers Know Just As Much About Technology? Study Says, 'Yes'

Teachers may be under the impression that their students know more about technology than they do, but a recent study says, "not so fast."

A new study conducted by the New York Institute of Technology looked at how science teachers and middle school students used technology in and out of the classroom, said an article on The study, "Digital Native Fallacy: Teachers Still Know Better," looked at how 24 science teachers and 1,078 middle school students used technology.

"What it found was that students were not more tech savvy than their teachers, and when it came to certain tools that might be useful in a professional setting [word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software], teachers were more proficient," the article said. "In a totally not shocking finding, outside of school, students had mastered the art of texting and YouTube. In class, they mostly used technology to type reports and search the Web for research."

Teachers and students had "similar tech skills," the article said, "even though the kids were third-generation 'digital natives' who never knew a world without the Internet."

"The thought was that digital natives had a different way of thinking because their lives were so saturated with technology and that teachers were too old, so they can't best teach digital natives," said Shiang-Kwei Wang, leader of the study. "More and more research is debunking that myth."

One issue the study found was that teachers aren't inept when it comes to technology, the article said. "It's that they don't know how to translate that knowledge into something that can help their students prepare for the future."

"It's great that students can research photosynthesis on the Internet," the article said. "But learning to build a spreadsheet to organize and analyze data could be more useful for students when they reach college and beyond. Wang recommends that school administrations set up training programs to help teachers do just that."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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