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Looking inside today’s digital classroom: Teachers Speak Up about technology use

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Speak Up 2015 Findings

#1 More & more digital content

Teachers are using more digital content in their classroom than ever before. This year’s leader board: videos (68%), digital games (48%), online curriculum (36%), online textbooks (30%) and animations (27%), all showing increases over 2014.

#2 Let’s play to learn

At least in elementary school! More game-based learning environments are happening in elementary grades than in middle and high schools. 65% of teachers in K-2 and 59% of teacher sin Gr 3-5 are regularly using games within their classrooms.

#3 have you flipped yet?

16% of teachers say that they have “flipped” their classroom – using class time for projects and remediation and sending home videos for students to watch as homework. One-third of teachers would like some PD on how to do this in their class too!

#4 Teachers’ side job as video producer

While only 27% of teachers say it is likely they will create their own videos for students to watch, teachers in some subjects are already producing their own movies as instructional aids for their students. Most likely to be self-producing videos: teachers in computer science, career tech education, the arts and world language classes!

#5 Homework Gap reality

68% of teachers acknowledge that they are reluctant to assign Internet-based homework because they fear some students do not have safe access outside of school – a new digital divide.

#6 Teachers text? Really?

Teachers report using texting to communicate with colleagues (66%), parents of students (39%) and even their students (14%). Texting with students in on the rising – increasing from only 7% in 2014.

#7 Reading a printed page or on a screen – which is better?

49% of teachers say that the digital reading on a screen is more engaging for their students – but 52% say it is also more distracting than reading a classic paperback novel or traditional history textbook.

#8 Wish list for PD

Top vote getter: using technology to differentiate instruction (55%). Seems teachers want to differentiate using games and mobile devices: 50% want training on incorporating games into lessons and 38% want to learn more about using mobile devices within instruction.

#9 How teachers want to learn

In school works best for most teachers as it provides convenience and context. Favorites’ list includes in school training days (52%), peer coaching (51%) and observations of other teachers (48%).

#10 Hurrah for social media tools!

Teachers are discovering the power of social media as a PD tool. Pinterest is quickly becoming a go-to spot for classroom/lesson plan ideas, especially for younger teachers. While 58% of teachers with under 4 years of teaching experience have pinned a lesson plan, only 38% of teachers with 16+ years of experience have done the same.


Source: Speak Up 2015 Research Project for Digital Learning Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 38,157 K-12 educators nationwide. 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