National Survey of Teachers: Impact of Technology in the Classroom

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PBS LearningMedia today released findings from a national survey of pre-K-12 teachers that provides a current snapshot of how teachers are utilizing technology in America’s classrooms, the types of technology teachers have access to and their attitudes toward technology. Three-quarters of teachers surveyed link educational technology to a growing list of benefits, saying technology enables them to reinforce and expand on content (74%), to motivate students to learn (74%), and to respond to a variety of learning styles (73%). Seven in 10 teachers (69%) surveyed said educational technology allows them to “do much more than ever before” for their students.

On Digital Learning Day this February 6, educators nationwide will celebrate how digital learning is positively changing education. More than two-thirds (68%) of teachers expressed a desire for more classroom technology and this number is even greater in low-income schools (75%). 

“Technology is a critical part of learning and teaching in today’s classrooms,” commented Alicia Levi, PBS Education. “Teachers today need access to high-quality digital content to keep pace with schools’ investment in interactive whiteboards, tablets and other devices to maximize the educational benefits of technology in classrooms.”

Teachers are integrating digital learning into their classrooms more than ever. Nearly half (48%) of teachers surveyed reported using technology for online lesson plans, and just under half use technology to give students access to web-based educational games or activities (45%). Additionally, teachers use online video, images and articles (43%). Sixty-five percent of teachers reported that technology allows them to demonstrate something they cannot show in any other way.

Interestingly, a growing number of educators have access to and are adopting new technologies and platforms to support instruction. Ninety percent of teachers surveyed have access to at least one PC or laptop for their classrooms, and six in 10 teachers (59%) have access to an interactive whiteboard. Tablets and e-readers saw the biggest increase among technology platforms available for classroom instruction. More than one-third (35%) of teachers said they have access to a tablet or e-reader in their classroom, up from 20% a year ago. Among teachers with access to tablets, 71% cite the use of educational applications as the most beneficial for teaching, followed by educational websites (64%) and educational e-books/textbooks (60%).

As more educators are adopting technology for a 21st century curriculum, the accessibility of educational content on a variety of platforms is key to bringing lessons to life in classrooms.

PBS LearningMedia (www.pbslearningmeda.org) provides educators with free access to innovative classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted resources aligned to National and Common Core State Standards. Drawing from critically acclaimed PBS programs such as NOVA, Frontline, American Experience and PBS KIDS programs like Sid The Science Kid, as well as The National Archives and NASA, the service offers teachers more than 20,000 videos, images and articles to enrich classroom instruction. PBS LearningMedia is currently being used by 650,000 teachers nationwide and is accessible on multiple devices.

Survey Methodology

The survey spanned 503 web-based interviews with US pre-K-12 teachers. The survey was conducted January 15-20, 2013, by VeraQuest, Inc. and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4% at a 95% confidence level.

PBS LearningMedia is ©2012 PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. For more information, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org.

About PBS

PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBSPressroom on Twitter.