According to a survey released by NetDay, a national education technology nonprofit, more than eight out of ten teachers (84%) believe that computers and access to the Internet improve the quality of education. Seventy-five percent of teachers say the Internet is an important tool for finding new resources to meet new standards. However, two-thirds of teachers agree the Internet is not well integrated into their classrooms and only 26% of them feel pressure to use it in learning activities.
Five years ago, when NetDay launched a national movement to wire all schools and classrooms to the Internet, few schools had Internet connections and only a handful of classrooms were wired. Today, nearly every teacher has access to the Internet at his or her school and 80% of classrooms have computers that are online. Seventy-seven percent of teachers agree that teachers without Internet access in the classroom are at a disadvantage.
While teachers cite multiple uses for the Internet, most primarily see its potential as a research tool, but say that it has not changed the way they teach. Forty-eight percent of teachers say the Internet has become an important tool for teaching over the last two years, yet across every demographic group of teachers, half or more use the Internet at school for less than 30 minutes a day.
78% of teachers cited lack of time as the number one reason for not logging on to the Internet.
46-50% list lack of equipment, speed of access, or lack of technical support as hindering their use of online resources.
4% of teachers cite lack of knowledge about how to use the Internet, and 32% list lack of leadership from the principal or administrators as reasons for not logging on.
NetDay's research suggests that the critical challenge ahead is to find ways to help teachers go beyond the research functions of the Internet. Most teachers do not use the Internet in daily activities such as communication with students, parents, and other teachers or for organizational activities. Sixty-seven percent of teachers believe the Internet is not well integrated into their classroom. Those teachers most likely to use the Internet and to say it is well integrated into their classrooms are 6th through 8th grade teachers.
Currently, less than half of teachers use the Internet when building new lessons or engaging in classroom projects (42%), and an even greater number (62%) do not update lesson plans with material found online.
Teachers in private and parochial schools engage in technology integration more often than teachers in public schools. Fifty-two percent of private and parochial teachers use the Internet for class projects and for updating lesson plans; compared to 40% of public schoolteachers who use the Internet for these activities.
The vast majority (73%) of teachers say they do not feel pressure to use the Internet in classroom instruction or the curriculum. Interestingly, of those teachers who reported feeling pressure, 54% say district administrators, colleagues, and peers are the source of that pressure. Notable, only 10% say the pressure comes from principals. The lack of pressure that teachers feel from principals suggests the need for more guidance to help principals learn how to best utilize technology to support education. In addition, learning how to provide leadership on educational technology is a new development area for many principals.
NetDay's Education Technology Leadership campaign, to be launched at the National Leadership Summit on Education and Technology on March 31, 2001, will address this new challenge and the need for technology savvy school leaders. By bringing together leaders from education, community, government, and business, NetDay will help build a foundation where technology is embraced and utilized in schools by creating a network of technology leadership mentors. Traveling from state to state, this leadership campaign will build upon NetDay's legacy of empowering parents, community volunteers, and business leaders to rally behind schools and education technology leaders to help achieve educational results.
This bi-partisan survey was conducted by Lake Snell Perry & Associates and the Tarrance Group for NetDay. The survey reached 600 public and private schoolteachers nationwide by telephone. The polling sample was stratified geographically based on the proportion of teachers in each state. The survey was conducted between January 31 and February 6, 2001 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.
For more information at http://www.netday.org