CompTIA says U.S. classrooms filling up with tech tools
It's a dream scenario for parents, and probably at least a bit of a nightmare come true for educators. Sammy and Susie use tablets, computers, and other tools of technology to enjoy exciting new learning experiences. And the nation's mildly frazzled teachership dashes heart-in-mouth from first-grader to first-grader, continually in fear of the next crunching noise to announce that Bobby or Betty has perfected his/her "Hulk smash!" routine using a $900 laptop.
OK, maybe not. The schoolchildren of 2015 should be well accustomed to computer technology, from seeing and using it at school, if nowhere else. New research by IT industry association CompTIA reveals that 75 percent of recently surveyed school either use e-learning software already, or are in some stage of implementing its use. That's a lot of classrooms where kids interact with a computer probably at least every week.
And it's not just the students who are surfing the technology wave. Two-thirds of teachers surveyed report that they either currently use, or are phasing in, some form of sotware to manage classroom functions like grading, taking attendance, etc. The findings are part of CompTIA's recently released report The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology.
The report reveals that there's almost universal usage of commonplace classroom technology such as printers, scanners, desktop computers and audiovisual equipment. Your child may not be using a phablet or wireless headset at school, but it's nearly certain that they at least have access to a PC. And there at least widespread potential for wireless device usage: 85 percent of U.S. classrooms currently have wireless network access.
(There's got to be more than a few junior high and high school teachers who are less than thrilled by that statistic. In the next few years rigid standards of BYOD etiquette are likely to be as commonplace at school as in hi-tech American workplaces.)
The report sounds a clarion call to schools that aren't keeping pace with the trend. Schools that are slow to adopt and integrate new technology face a number consequences. According to CompTIA's report, 43 percent of educators surveyed say that failing to keep pace with technology creates a general atmosphere of falling behind the times. Twenty-five percent say that leads to lower productivity from teachers and staff, while 22 percent feel it drags down student achievement.
The report was created from the findings of two surveys conducted online in September. One survey sampled the perspectives of 400 educators and administrators at K-12 schools, while the other drew responses from 1,000 middle school and high school students.