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Speak Up 2015 Findings: Special Education Teachers and Digital Learning

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Infographic Text:

How do you use technology to support your professional tasks as a special education teacher?

Professional tasks using technology Elementary School Teachers Secondary School Teachers
Create videos of my lessons or lectures that my students can watch 9% 11%
Text with parents of students 43% 40%
Use online quizzes for formative assessment 45% 44%
Customize digital content I find online to meet my class needs 30% 34%
Use a school portal for class information 13% 28%
Use an online curriculum with my students 31% 33%

Do students have access to mobile devices such as tablets, laptops or Chromebooks to support learning in your classroom?

  K-5 Classrooms 6-12 Classrooms
Students’ own devices 12% 23%
School provided, personally assigned devices 27% 19%
Class access set 39% 30%
No access 26% 25%

What types of digital content are you using in your special education classroom to support student learning?

  K-5 Classrooms 6-12 Classrooms
Online videos 56% 57%
Games 65% 45%
Software/apps for skill development 44% 34%
Online curriculum 38% 38%
Real time data 22% 24%
Online textbooks 24% 29%

What types of digital content are you using in your special education classroom to support student learning?

  K-5 Classrooms 6-12 Classrooms
Increased student engagement 81% 75%
Access to online textbooks 68% 73%
Learning extended beyond the school day 70% 68%
Student ownership of learning 61% 63%
Students can review materials anytime 62% 67%
Improves teacher productivity 42% 43%

About special education teachers who participated in Speak Up 2014:

  • 3,953 out of 35,909 teachers (11%) self-identified as a special education teacher
  • 52% have a Master’s degree in education
  • 13% - 3 years of less years of teaching experience, 27% - 4 to 10 years, 20% - 11 to 15 years, 40% - 16+ years
  • 37% teach students in preschool thru grade 5, 51% in grades 6-12, 12% – ungraded or support all grades
  • 74% view their tech skills as average compared to their peers. 21% views their skills as advanced; comparatively 32% of all classroom teachers say their tech skills are advanced
  • 72% teach in a traditional classroom (not blended or virtual)
  • 84% say that the effective use of technology in their classroom is important to their students’ success

About Project Tomorrow

Project Tomorrow® is the leading global education nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering student voices in education discussions. Project Tomorrow has 20 years of experience in the K-12 and higher education sector and regularly provides consulting and research support to school districts, government agencies, business and higher education institutions about key trends and research in science, math and technology education. Learn more at tomorrow.org


Source: Speak Up 2015 Research Project for Digital Learning Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of 505,676 students, parents and educators nationwide. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.

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