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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

School Officials Playing Catchup with Technology

The Project Tomorrow report, Speak Up 2011Personalizing the Classroom Experience suggests educators and librarians have taken noticed that students accept the do-it-yourself approach to education that has been made possible through new technologies.

The report, a survey of representing students, parents, teachers, librarians, and administrators from more than 5,800 public and private K-12 schools, shows that educators utilizing social networking sites for professional use has risen from 22% in 2008 to 45% in 2011, Additionally, more than a third of teachers responding are now using online professional learning communities (PLC), compared to one in five just four years ago.

The study suggests a shift in thinking about students bringing devices into the classroom is possible as more educators become familiar with using the technology. The study found that those educators see the gadgets as a way to “increase student engagement (83%), access online textbooks (73%), and extend learning beyond the end of the school day (63%).” The report also found that 27% of administrators surveyed feel that allowing students to bring their own mobile devices into the classroom could be a technology solution to budget issues.

At the same time, the report also states that harnessing the potential of technology in the classroom continues to be a challenge because of all the new tools and services that are available. All the choices make it difficult to choose the best product or app, or to even evaluate which tools work best.

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