A recent study has found that while college students may be proficient in the personal use of electronic devices and social media sites, those studying to become teachers aren’t getting much instruction on the classroom uses of the gadgets.
The study, Digital Experiences and Expectations of Tomorrow’s Teachers, is part of the Speak Up survey from the 2011-12 school year conducted by Project Tomorrow and Blackboard Inc. It included responses from nearly 1,400 students in teacher education programs, as well as 36,000 in-service teachers and 4,000 administrators.
Despite familiarity with electronics and social media, two-thirds of students in the survey said they learn more about using technology through field experience rather than classroom assignments. In addition, 45% of principals surveyed said they want new teachers to use social media in their instruction, but just 25% of the students said they’ve learned how to do it.
The study found that two-thirds of the principals want new teachers to create and use video and other media and 45% want them to find ways to use student-owned mobile devices in their lessons. However, only 44% of the responding students said they were being taught about the use of video and just 19% said they were learning how to incorporate mobile devices.
Students said the technology they are learning about is word processing, spreadsheet, and database software (71%); creating multimedia presentations (64%); and the use of interactive whiteboards (55%).
“While these are arguably valuable skills for teacher productivity, principals have a different set of expectations about the technology experiences they want to see in potential teaching candidates,” authors of the report wrote. “Principals want new teachers to know how to use technology to create authentic learning experiences for students (75%) and how to leverage technology to differentiate instruction (68%) before they apply for a position at their school.”