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Survey: Teachers, Parents Want More Ed. Tech.

by guest blogger Mike Bock

Both parents and teachers want to see more technology in the classroom, a survey from the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission suggests, as 82 percent of teachers and 71 percent of parents said greater emphasis on technology would be helpful for learning.

Looking ahead, the survey found that 54 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents think technology in the classroom will become much more important during the next 10 years than it is right now.

The goal of the survey was to assess the amount of enthusiasm and support for the use of educational technology among teachers and parents, said Jim Steyer, one of LEAD's commissioners. The LEAD Commission, a public-private commission created by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to craft a blueprint for better use of educational technology, will use the data to write a full report on technology that is scheduled to be released in November.

Steyer said the findings, which came from a poll of more than 800 public school parents and K-12 teachers conducted in August, suggests "off-the-charts" enthusiasm for new technology efforts.

"Parents and teachers really do get the importance of education and technology today," said Steyer.

Preliminary data from the survey also shows that parents and teachers often reflect similar stances on a number of technology-related issues, such as whether or not the United States is falling behind other countries on technology adoption (61 percent of teachers and 63 percent of parents think that is the case) or whether or not high-speed Internet at home benefits learning (95 percent of teachers and 90 percent of parents think it does.)

"There was a real alignment between what parents and teachers identify as most needed improvements in education," Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, the firm that conducted the survey, said during a conference call.

LEAD's findings seem to correlate with the Vision K-20 survey, which also polled teachers about their opinions on educationl technology. My colleague Ian Quillen wrote about the survey, which found that teachers' desire to use digital toolsin the classroom substantially exceeded their current access to the technology.

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