New report gives hope to time-poor teachers

by Brett Henebery16 Feb 2016

Busy teachers can free up some much needed time in class through using technology, a new survey shows.

This study was conducted by US educational technology company Instructure in 2015 through an online survey of 2,011 K-12 and higher education teachers who were polled in Australia, the US, UK and Latin America.
 
182 Australian teachers were asked 85 questions based on their attitudes towards use of technology in the classroom. The survey found that 80% agreed that technology made their job easier and saved them around three hours per week in marking and planning time.
 
Seventy five percent of teachers expressed that employing technology for their own and students’ use enabled them to spend more time teaching and gave individual attention to students, rather than spending lots of time on lesson planning, marking, reporting and more.
 
Instructure’s APAC director, Troy Martin, told The Educator that the performance benefits for both teachers and students were clear.
 
“The quality of the responses to this survey and the fact that we had so many respondents answer these questions demonstrates the interest of teachers in this area and that they hold passionate views on the role of technology in the classroom,” Martin said.

“This data is invaluable for us, but sharing it will hopefully foster a larger conversation about these findings and their positive impact.”

Contrary to the perceptions that technology is driving a wedge between teachers and students, 77% of teachers said that using technology in the classroom made it easier for them to communicate with and relate to their students.
 
However, Martin said fears remained over how distracting technological devices could become.
 
“This is an area of ongoing concern, not just for us but for educators themselves. More than 50% of teachers we surveyed said their students were being distracted by technology.”

“So we have to begin asking how we can help teachers minimise those distractions in the classroom. It’s important to keep upskilling teachers with technology and help schools make decisions around acquiring technology that is easy to use and gives teachers the best opportunity to use that technology constructively,” he said.
 

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