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Only Half of Parents, Students Believe Schools Can Teach New Technology

Do America's schools have the tools and talent to train the next generation of technology users?

Only about half of parents and students say yes.

A survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz, Inc. found that 56 percent of parents and students agree that the technological facilities in their schools are adequate. 

The survey also found that the same percentage of parents – but fewer students (46 percent) – agree that teachers are adequately preparing young people to use new technologies.

"America's future is based on technology, yet barely a majority of parents and students think schools are up to the challenge of training the next generation of technology users," said Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future.  

"We believe that America can make great strides in improving education if a new generation of teachers from the Millennial generation – those born into using technology – has the opportunity to shape the next era of instruction," Cole said.

Greg Bovitz, president of Bovitz, Inc. and a senior fellow at the Center for the Digital Future, added, "It's a clear case of digital adopters teaching digital natives.  In the current classroom, the students have an innate advantage when it comes to technology."

Millennial parents: less confident in schools' abilities to teach new technologies

The survey found that the Millennial generation of parents have less confidence in either teachers or technology than do other respondents. Only 47 percent of parents who are Millennials (age 18-34) said teachers in their children's schools are adequately preparing them to use new technologies, compared to 59 percent of non-Millennial parents. Fifty-one percent of Millennial parents said the technology in schools was adequate, compared to 56 percent of non-Millennial parents.

Differences between male and female students in views about technology

The survey also reported differences in how male and female students perceive the technological facilities in schools and teachers' abilities to educate about new technologies.

Sixty-five percent of male students vs. 50 percent of female students agreed that the technological facilities in their school are adequate. Fifty percent of male students, compared to 43 percent of female students, agree that the teachers in their school are adequately preparing them to use new technologies.   

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