Survey Results – Professional Development Is Top Education Technology Wish List Item

by Kelly Walsh on January 9, 2011

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Survey provides a clear mandate: teachers want more professional development focused on education technology, and more exposure to tech for the classroom.

The brief, informal survey that I ran here last week provided insight into what educators are looking from education technology in 2011.

The standout response was “Professional Development focused on using technology”. Along the same lines, “More exposure to technology for the classroom” was the second most popular response. I think this says so much about what teachers are experiencing with education technology – tools and equipment are great, but please help us learn how to use them productively!

The 3rd and 4th most common choices were also closely aligned - ”More computers in the classroom” and “More technology funds”. Other popular responses are indicated in the graph below.

 

The fact that professional development and exposure to technology rose to the top of the list is certainly good news for EmergingEdTech – I think the mandate is clear regarding what I should be focusing on here, and I welcome it. Hopefully a few school admins also note this feedback and choose to devote some effort and funds to this as well.

As for needs that evolve around more funding, bloggers like myself can also try to help in this regard by bringing attention to good quality free resources, and also by spreading the word about classroom technology contests. We also try to raise awareness of successful Ed Tech initiatives, with the hope that this gets back to administrators and helps educators make the case for tech investments in their schools.

More Survey Feedback
In total there were 144 selections made by 51 respondents.

I had a response category of “Other” as a permissible wish list entry, allowing respondents to add their own wish list items. Some of those responses that I found particularly notable included the following: 

  • “Greater commitment by senior managers to technology-based learning”
  • “IT Governance within our organization”.
  • “I would want higher speed (more than dial up) internet access for all of our families in the school district. Being a rural school district, many families do not have an adequate connection to the applications and information we would like to require our students to use outside of school”
  • 2 Requests for “Ipads or similar products” for all students and professors, which could “reduce the need for textbooks by having ebooks”

I also asked for grade level info (in large groupings: Pre-K, K-6, 7-12, and Higher Ed) and noted that the responses were pretty evenly spread across K-16 spectrum, with only a few Pre-K responses, as would be expected. As for notable differences between how the various grade levels responded, the K-6 respondents has a high number of requests for “More computers in the classrooms”, and the Higher Ed respondents had a high number of requests for Automated Plagiarism Checking tools.

Conclusions
I look forward to raising the focus on professional development and exposure to applications of technology that work well in the classroom.

Knowing that professional development is high on the wish list raises the question, “what types of education technology related professional development are most sought after?”. I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that things like “How To” tutorials, articles offering impactful ways to use technology in the classroom, lesson plans that leverage tech, and classroom tech success stories are all valid content that I can offer here on EmergingEdTech to help teachers. I’m going to work immediately on developing these types of articles and materials for delivery in the coming weeks and months.

In the meanwhile, please comment and share any thoughts, questions, or other feedback you might wish to offer on the subject!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
10 Internet Technologies that Educators Should Be Informed About
Free Productivity Resources for Educators
Great Education Technology Story: CPS Student Response System helps to improve FCAT scores

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Class Workshop in a Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Robinson January 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm

In this society of today, technology has become very important to not only the youth, but adults as well. Technolgy is used more in the school or in lessons to engage students more. Yes such a good technique to draw students into a lesson. I work at a High School, a very at risk high school in Chicago IL, where studets has become less motivated and engaged in their learning. Whenever we discuss cell phones, computers, video games etc, they become interested. You pull out a projector or lap top for lessons more eyes awaken. However it becomes a problem in communities that struggle with providing the best resources and materials for our students. We want to talk about the use of technology in a class and having our students more engaged, however, when funds lack, where do we go from there? Its one English teacher here, whom I work very close to, every week we play english games online as a classroom. We have had an increase in learning, retaining of information, and great class participation.

Education Survey January 18, 2011 at 1:54 am

Really great to see this survey results in this post. Thanks for sharing!

Khala Johnson January 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Like Sue mentioned, I’m not surprised at all that your readers are looking for professional development in regards to technology. I’m not a teacher of technology- I’m actually a Financial Aid Advisor. Prior to my current university, I worked for an online college, and topics such as this were present in many student services meetings. As the industry of higher education continues to grow, as well as technology, it will be more important than ever to incorporate these growing technologies into our classrooms. Our students are so used to accessing information online through blogs, pod casts, online lectures, etc. It only makes sense that we incorporate this into our classrooms and learning outcomes.
Thank you for the survey results Kelly!

Khala

Cheryl Harrison January 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

Great to see the results of this survey posted, Kelly. I’ll be passing this one around. Thanks for sharing!

K. Walsh January 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

Great point Sue, but it’s kind of hard to quantify that and try to accurately extrapolate how this applies to teachers in general, versus just blog readers. I certainly see the information providing a good sense of what the site’s readers are interested in, and do find it reasonable to suggest that these results are somewhat indicative of the desires of educator’s in general.

Sue Frantz January 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I’m not surprised that visitors to your blog are looking for professional development with a technology focus. I wouldn’t generalize this to all teachers, though. People who land on this blog are a very specific subset of teachers — the ones who are looking for more information about teaching with technology.

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