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Survey Reveals Another Technology Gap

Creative commons licensed photo from Flickr by Old Shoe Woman.

Creative commons licensed photo from Flickr by Old Shoe Woman.

Teachers in high-poverty schools report fewer computers and less training on how to use technology with students compared to their colleagues in wealthier districts—leading to decreased confidence for these teachers when it comes to using educational technology.

The Education Week Research Center surveyed approximately 700 teachers on their use of technology and released an analysis of the survey results at the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education this week.

The survey reveals that the demographics of teachers who are less confident with educational technology mirror those of the more confident teachers. Both groups share a similar number of years in the profession and teach similar grades and subjects. And it’s not that the less confident teachers are resistant to new technologies.

The analysis instead concludes that “confidence levels vary based on the characteristics of the school settings in which teachers work.”

The findings of this survey and others on the differing levels of educational technology and instruction available to students at poorer versus wealthier schools have significant ramifications.

The computerized SBAC exam is used to judge students and schools in Connecticut, and students with less access to and experience with computers are put at a disadvantage when taking the test.

And more important to students’ future success, technology continues to become more and more integral to many different career paths.

As writes for Education Week, “In other words, the schools and students already at the greatest disadvantage when it comes to technology access and use appear to have yet another challenge to confront.”

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