Teachers use technology often and comfortably, much as their students do, according to a national survey of 11,000 teachers.
The survey—released last week by NetDay, a nonprofit group based in Irvine, Calif.—found that 87 percent of the teachers considered technology important to their value as teachers.
The national NetDay Speak Up 2004 report, “Voices and Views of Today’s Tech-Savvy Students,” is available online. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)
Many teachers selected strong, positive statements such as “lesson plans are richer because of information from the Internet” and “students are more engaged in learning,” over negative statements about technology, such as how students use it to cheat or how it has diminished the role of the teacher.
Expressing their dependence on technology, 89 percent of the teachers said the loss of Internet access would hurt their ability to do their jobs.
And 78 percent of the respondents cited the vital role of technology in helping them meet state and federal requirements.
Teachers also revealed that they are active technology users in their personal lives. More than 9 out of 10 in the survey have home computers with Internet access and personal e-mail accounts over and above the ones provided by their districts. And more than 40 percent have broadband access to the Internet at home.
Teachers engage in online activities typical of other U.S. adults—such as getting directions, shopping, reading news, making travel arrangements, and researching medical information.
The teachers who completed the online survey were from 1,885 schools in 50 states. The survey was publicized nationally as part of “Speak Up Day for Teachers.”
Since participants were self-selected and the method might favor teachers who are more comfortable with technology, NetDay validated the findings with results from five schools or districts in which a majority of teachers took the survey.