Teaching Profession

Tech Update

April 25, 2001 3 min read

Teachers Complain of Little Time To Use Internet

Most teachers are convinced that the Internet is an important tool for their profession and that access to it improves the quality of education, but they complain of having too little time to use it, according to a survey of 600 public and private school teachers released this month.

Some teachers said the survey’s findings ring true for them as well as their colleagues.

“For me, technology has become as much a tool as a pencil or pen would be—it’s become innate to what I do,” said Timothy D. Comolli, an English teacher at the 860-student South Burlington High School in Vermont.

Echoing some of the survey’s findings, Mr. Comolli, who runs a computer-animation lab at his school, said too many teachers must go outside their classrooms to the school library or a special technology lab to get Internet access. And that simply takes too much time, he said.

The survey was conducted by Washington-based Lake Snell Perry & Associates, and the Tarrance Group, an Alexandria, Va., firm. The survey’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

Among other responses, the poll found that more than 90 percent of the teachers have Internet access in their schools, a finding consistent with surveys by the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Yet 60 percent of the respondents said they used the Internet in school less than 30 minutes a day.

In addition to reporting they have little time for online activities, about half the teachers cited shortages of equipment, slow Internet-access speeds, or a lack of technical support as hindering their use of online resources. And two-thirds of the teachers said they did not believe the Internet was “well integrated” into their teaching.

Beyond those findings, 55 percent of the teachers reported that they used the Internet for the most part as a tool to conduct research or gather information for lessons. Smaller numbers use the Internet as a professional-development tool (36 percent); to keep their calendars, Web bookmarks, and addresses (30 percent); or to monitor student work (22 percent).

Forty-two percent use it to communicate with other teachers or students, 20 percent go online to communicate with parents, and 18 percent use the Internet to post lessons for students.

The survey also found that 87 percent of teachers now feel comfortable using the Internet for school-related purposes, but only about a third said they feel “very comfortable.”

The survey was commissioned by Netday, an Irvine, Calif.-based group that helps schools use technology effectively.


Data-Driven Decisions: As schools spend more money on technology, they are feeling greater pressure to show results for those investments. But weighing the impact of technology is not simple, concludes a new guide for school leaders published by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, a federally financed research center in Naperville, Ill.

For More Information

Order “Planning for D3T: Data-Driven Decisions About Technology,” at no charge, from NCREL. The guide comes with a planning tool on a CD-ROM.

The guide discusses seven critical issues that technology evaluations should take into account. It emphasizes that:

  • The impact of technology infusion into schools is directly connected to the effectiveness of other school improvement efforts.
  • Current practices to evaluate technology should be broadened to include such factors as learning goals, professional training, and home access to technology.
  • Scores on standardized tests are a limited indicator of technology’s effectiveness.
  • Schools must document their technology evaluations in ways that satisfy a diverse set of constituents, from parents and taxpayers to business leaders and state officials.
  • Evaluations of technology should use a common language. For example, terms such as “technology integration” sometimes mean different things to teachers than to administrators and have different meanings in different districts.
  • Teachers play a crucial role in evaluating technology, but the burden of proving its effectiveness is shared with school officials and others.
  • Some school policies need to be changed to match the new needs of schools that use technology. For example, schools need to consider whether they should keep their buildings open after regular hours to offer computer access to students and members of the community.

—Andrew Trotter

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2001 edition of Education Week as Tech Update

Events

School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Nearly 9 in 10 Teachers Willing to Work in Schools Once Vaccinated, Survey Finds
Nearly half of educators who belong to the National Education Association have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site set up for teachers and school staff in Reading, Pa., on March 15.
Matt Rourke/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP