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Parents: Schools Not Preparing Students for Digital Age


A new report examines the responses of parents from the 2008 Speak Up survey, conducted by Project Tomorrow, and finds that less than one-third believe that schools are adequately preparing students for jobs in the 21st century. The report analyzes responses from more than 21,000 parents of K-12 students.

Parents are also disappointed by the amount of technology in schools and how well it is integrated into lesson plans, says the report. They want higher quality technology available to students and more professional development to help teachers competently integrate technology into the classroom.

One place where parents and students who participated in the survey differed in their opinions was the importance of media and information literacy. Parents ranked those skills as slightly more important than students did, but a significant number of parents--68 percent--believed that those skills should be taught in schools while 40 percent of 6th-12th grade students believed they would pick up those skills while exploring technology on their own.

It's pretty fascinating to hear what parents have to say about technology in education, especially in how it differs and parallels what students, teachers, and principals have to say. See for yourself by downloading the report here.


I sympathize with parents who don’t see schools using technology in the classroom to prepare students for the 21 century. As a teacher I am often frustrated at the lack of technology I have access to in my classroom. It’s not as though technology is not at the top of teacher’s list, but we can’t get current technology into our classrooms fast enough. When schools suffer from lack of funding, how do teachers convince the district t to spend thousands of dollars on technology that will be outdated in a few years?

As teachers, we would love to see parents get more involved in fundraising to purchase technology, or even purchase laptops that students could bring to school daily. Then districts could focus on providing technology for families that are not able to purchase their own instead of providing for the entire student population.

As a teacher that graduated less than 8 years ago with my teaching credential, teaching credential programs are not aligned with teaching teachers how to integrate technology into the classroom. Every time my school gets a new technology, I get my in-service on it and I implement it to the best of my ability. Parents, districts, and teachers need to let the colleges know that the teachers that are graduating from their programs do not have the skills necessary to teach students of the 21st century. On my own I have decided that it is time that I do something about my lack of knowledge with technology, and enrolled in a masters program that is focused on integrating technology into the classroom. It is my goal to move forward with integrating technology within my classroom. If parents want their students to learn my 21st century skills in schools then they need to voice that to the districts, states, and colleges.

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