Parents Favor More Technology in Schools

By Michele Molnar — September 21, 2012 2 min read
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Most parents and teachers of K-12 students support greater use of technology in education—and 63 percent of parents believe America’s public schools are “behind the curve” compared to other parts of our economy in terms of taking full advantage of technology, according to a study released in early September by the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission.

The nationwide poll found that these audiences increasingly believe that school systems should be doing more to improve access to technology in education.

The study’s findings are based on a telephone survey of 883 parents of K-12 public school children and an online survey of 812 K-12 public school teachers. Both were conducted in August.

“Once considered strategic, it is now essential to integrate new technological innovations to help educate our children and to help close the achievement gap,” said LEAD Commissioner and Co-Founder of TPG Capital Jim Coulter, in a news release. LEAD is a non-governmental organization exploring the opportunity to use technology to improve education in the United States.

Here’s where parents stand on “technology in school” issues:

  • 92 percent believe that schools’ integration of technology in teaching and learning is important to the education of American students today;
  • 64 percent believe that the role of technology in educating students will become much more important during the next 10 years;
  • 71 percent believe a greater use of technology would be helpful in connecting learning inside and outside of the classroom;
  • 76 percent would favor spending $200 per student for an Internet-connected device, rather than $200 per student for new science textbooks.

Parents seem more “sold” on the benefits of technology than teachers do in achieving goals like:

  • Providing real-time feedback on student performance (75 percent of parents, vs. 60 percent of teachers);
  • Making students more engaged and active participants (72 percent for parents, vs. 61 percent for teachers);
  • Exposing students to different perspectives (69 percent for parents, vs. 51 percent for students).

While teachers see the promise of technology in education, most are not receiving the training they need to use it to its fullest potential, the study found.

Led by Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates, the findings of “Parents’ and Teachers’ Attitudes and Opinions on Technology in Education” can be viewed here.

Mike Bock also wrote about the survey for Education Week‘s Digital Education blog.

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.