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Research: New Technology Finding Its Way into American Classrooms

A growing number of technologies aimed at the education market are making strong inroads into classrooms, a new study from CompTIA, the information technology industry association, showed.

Three-quarters of the schools surveyed for CompTIA's The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology study say they currently use or plan to use e-learning software. Two-thirds of teachers and staff say they currently use or plan to use classroom management software.

"These tools facilitate online homework, accommodate students out for extended sick periods and make online collaboration between students and teachers easier," said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. "In many ways the education process is mirroring the way corporate America functions: remote access capabilities, teacher and student mobility and a 24/7 availability environment."

Longstanding, traditional technologies – printers, scanners, desktop PCs and A/V equipment – have near universal usage rates in schools. The high incidence of wireless network access in the classroom – 85% currently have it – suggests that mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred and primary computing tools for students and teachers alike.

"The influence of new technology is also reflected in changing teaching methods," said Anna Matthai, manager, research and market Intelligence, CompTIA. "Nearly half of elementary school teachers and one in five high school teachers incorporate game-based learning in the classroom."

When it comes to learning aids, female students express a strong preference for mobile e-learning apps while male students prefer more gaming-based learning simulations.

"This serves as a reminder that each student may have different preferences when it comes to learning," April said.  "It's not always possible to customize the learning experience for each student, but technology often allows for a degree of customization not found with other learning modalities."

Lagging in school technology adoption can have negative impacts, the CompTIA study found. For example:

  • 43% of teachers and staff said it contributes to a feeling of falling behind in a digital economy.
  • 25% said it leads to lower staff and teacher productivity.
  • 22% feel it contributes to lower student achievement.

CompTIA's The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology is based on two online surveys conducted in September 2014. In one, 400 U.S. educators and administrators in the K-12 sector surveyed; in the second, 1,000 middle school and high school students were questioned. The complete report is available at http://www.comptia.org/insight-tools.

 

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