Apr 14 2011

Teachers See Educational Value in Mobile Computing Devices

Teachers rate the educational potential of various devices.

Classroom use of notebook and tablet computers, e-readers and other portable devices varies greatly by district and even by school. Some administrators and IT leaders are establishing policies and ramping up networks to support limited use of these tools in certain learning situations, while others continue to forbid them.

Teachers, meanwhile, believe these devices can enhance the educational experience. Those surveyed last year by PBS and Grunwald Associates about their media usage rated the following technologies an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale for having the greatest educational potential:

Notebook computers 81%
Tablet computers or e-readers 53%
iPod Touches 28%
MP3 players 23%
Gaming devices 14%
Cell phones 11%

To read the complete findings of this nationwide, online survey of 1,401 full-time teachers, go to pbs.org/teachers/research.


The Power of Professional Development

When teachers want to learn how to incorporate new technology in their school or classroom, where do they turn?

According to a 2009 study of technology integration in U.S. schools commissioned by Walden University's Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, teachers are most likely to look to fellow teachers or technology specialists for such help. The top five most frequently cited sources of assistance are as follows:

Fellow teacher not specifically designated as tech specialist 58%
Technology coordinator/specialist 52%
Fellow teacher designated as technology specialist 49%
Online: subject-focused websites (e.g., science websites) 35%
Online: teacher-focused websites 31%

These results are based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. K-12 teachers and administrators. Respondents were asked to identify all sources of assistance. To download the report summarizing these and other findings, visit waldenu.edu/fivemyths.