Teachers Speak Out on Education Reform and Use of Technology

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A recent survey by the Association of American Educators asked its members about how they felt about education reform. The survey asked its members about current issues in education including School Choice, Virtual Education and Technology, Testing and Assessments, Teacher Preparation and Leadership, and the 2016 Presidential Election.

The results were surprising: The organization’s 2016 Membership Survey found that 95 percent of respondents believe students should be able to customize their educational plans. Nearly 80 percent support charter schools, and another 86 percent support Education Department guidance to cap standardized testing at 2 percent of classroom time. Another three in four members support rigorous teacher prep requirements recommended by the National Council on Teacher Quality and recruiting more racially diverse teachers. Also, 69 percent of members believed that some sort of blended learning environment would be beneficial for their own children/students.

The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators’ organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.

In addition to this survey, the second annual Teachers and Technology Survey was released by TES Global. For thetes global second year in a row, the survey revealed near saturation of education technology; however, 2016 figures show that adoption of open educational resource in particular appears to be accelerating, with 73% of survey respondents reporting that they now use open resources more often than textbooks.

This year’s survey also provides a window into the uses of technology in the classroom. The data suggests that application of technology is broadening beyond its historic focus on intervention and remediation, and that adoption of online communication tools has reached a significant tipping point through mainstream adoption of technology by parents.

  • 84% report that they are using technology to deliver whole-group instruction; 74% use it for differentiated instruction.
  • 70% of teachers report that they are using technology to communicate with parents, reflecting a perennial focus on parent engagement – and confirming the broad-based adoption of online tools like Remind and ClassDojo.
  • The majority (93%) agrees that technology has most impacted the way they approach time management, as well as instructional delivery (88%).

Access to hardware also appears to be accelerating. This year’s survey highlights an increase in access to hardware, and a substantial drop in connectivity challenges.

  • Just 27% indicated that they lacked enough computers and tablets, although 37% say this is still the most wanted technology in their classroom.
  • 16% claim that internet connectivity is a barrier to successful use of technology in the classroom, compared to 35% in 2015.
  • 25% of the teachers surveyed would most like to see game-based technology in their classroom above any other single technology, including laptops.
  • 10% of teachers would most like to see virtual or augmented reality headsets enter the classroom, a 5% increase from last year.

For more information on the Teachers for Technology Survey, see http://www.tesglobal.com/teachertech2

For more information on the Association of American Education Survey, see http://bit.ly/1p2P3OM