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Most Students Aren’t Using Technology in the Classroom

Posted by Sarah Renner-Pugh on August 23, 2016
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You have been encouraged to incorporate technology and digital tools into the classroom to increase student engagement and achievement. Many studies and news outlets have reported on the proliferation of tablets, laptops, and digital content in schools across the country. However, students are rarely the users because technology isn’t incorporated into instruction.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported on a study by AdvancED that examined student use of technology and digital tools in the classroom. Observing classrooms across 39 states and 11 countries over three years, the study found:

  • In nearly 53% of classrooms, there is no evidence students are using technology to gather, evaluate, and/or use information for learning.
  • In more than 60% of classrooms, there was no evidence of using technology to either communicate and work collaboratively for learning, or to conduct research, solve problems, and/or create original works for learning.

The study found that these digital tools are changing the way teachers operate, but there was “little evidence of technology being used by students to strengthen learning in classrooms today.”

Most students have access to this technology outside of the classroom, so why are we so slow to incorporate technology and digital tools into learning?

Often teachers are trained to use this technology for their work, but aren’t trained to integrate digital tools into instruction. In other cases, it is assumed that teacher technology use extends to their students.

What are some quick ways students can engage with technology in the classroom?

  • Use their phones as QR code scanners for an interactive treasure hunt or quiz.
  • Use the cameras on their phones to record videos to be shared with the class.
  • Use their devices to response to formative assessment questions presented by the teacher.
  • Use online productive tools (such as Google Docs or Dropbox) to collaborate in real-time on documents that are shared with the teacher.

Brainstorming how to use technology in the classroom is just the start. For technology to make a positive impact in your school, you must also figure out a way to seamlessly introduce it to your students.

Don’t worry, we can help with that.

Chalkable coaches partner with schools and districts to train educators on effectively incorporating technology into instruction. i21Zone training is customized professional learning based on the current curriculum and standards and can incorporate model lessons, side-by-side instruction, and mentoring.

Learn more about i21Zone

Topics: Professional Development, K-12 Education, Education Technology

Sarah Renner-Pugh

Written by Sarah Renner-Pugh

Sarah Renner-Pugh is the Digital Marketing Manager at Chalkable. With more than 10 years of marketing and communications experience, she loves honing the voice of a brand and determining how to best reach her audience. Sarah’s diverse background includes work in advertising, higher education publishing, and non-profit consulting.