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First Year in the Classroom: Speak Up 2016 Findings

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Compared to their more experienced peers, first year teachers reported less technology use for professional tasks.

How do you use technology to support your professional duties and tasks? 1st Year 11+ years
Use digital games with my students 56% 60%
Review data reports on student achievement and performance 51% 59%
Customize digital content I find online to meet my class needs 50% 47%
Facilitate student collaborative projects using online tools 35% 45%
Use an online curriculum with my students 26% 33%
Create investigations for my students using digital tools or scientific instrumentation 24% 31%
Create videos of my lectures or lessons for students to watch 16% 18%
Engage in online professional communities 14% 24%

Compared to their more experienced peers, first year teachers expressed more interest in some tech tools in their “dream school.”

Imagine you are designing a dream school for today's students. Which of these tools or strategies do you think holds the greatest potential for increasing student achievement and success? 1st Year 11+ years
Chromebook or laptop for every student to use at school 76% 72%
Internet access anywhere at school 62% 62%
Dashboard or portal to track student academic progress over time (e.g. classes taken, course grades, test scores, absences) even if students change schools 57% 46%
Digital content (animations, simulations, online articles and resources) 54% 46%
Mobile apps for learning 44% 38%
Learning management systems (e.g. Blackboard) 37% 26%

When asked how often they assign homework or projects that require students to access the Internet outside of school or class time, 54% of first-year teachers said rarely or never compared to 47% of those with more than 11 years experience.

Student Access to Mobile Devices

  • 30% School assigns devices to students for their use at school
  • 27% Teachers can check out devices to use in class as needed
  • 23% Students do not regularly have access to mobile devices in class
  • 18% Most students use their own devices (school provides devices to students without personal access)
  • 17% School assigns devices to students to use at school and at home

Teachers in both groups shared similar interests in their top choices for professional development topics.

For the more experienced teachers, using technology tools for formative assessment and identifying mobile apps to use in class were among their top five.

Which of these topics are on your wish list for professional development this year? (Top five choices of 1st year teachers) 1st Year 11+ years
Using education games within instruction 58% 47%
Using technology to differentiate instruction 56% 52%
Using technology tools for formative assessment 40% 33%
Using mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, Chromebooks) within instruction 39% 37%
Understanding how to use student data to improve teaching practices and student learning experiences 33% 24%

Classroom Models

  • 78% were in traditional classroom settings
  • 16% were in a blended class environment
  • 6% were in other classroom models

Compared to their more experienced peers, first year teachers reported greater confidence in their own technology skills.

How would you rate your technology skills? 1st Year 11+ years
Advanced - My skills are more advanced than most adults I know 34% 27%
Average - My skills are similar to those of the adults I know 63% 69%
Beginner - I'm just learning to use technology tools 3% 5%

Source: Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, 2016 Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 514,351 K-12 students, parents, and educators from around the world. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow, a global nonprofit organization. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.

Speak Up is generously underwritten this year by the following innovative companies

Apex Learning Blackboard Brain Pop Dreambox Qualcomm Wireless Reach Rosetta Stone Scholastic