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Teachers Say Technology Is The Most Important Investment For Schools

Teachers want more technology in their classrooms — and fast.

A new study from DonorsChoose.com, a nonprofit organization that lets teachers request items for their classes so donors can fulfill their requests, found that teachers rank technology as the most important expenditure for schools, followed by school supplies and books.

In recent years, DonorsChoose says, teachers’ requests for tablets have increased dramatically on the site — and educators say they’re the piece of technology they need the most.

However, not all teachers request technology products to the same degree. Those who work in schools with more affluent students are more likely to request help with bringing technology to their students. Teachers who work in lower-income schools are more desperate for basic school supplies.

After books, tablets are the next most-requested item in low-poverty school districts, while paper and “paper crafts” are the next most-requested item in high-poverty schools.

The disparity in student access to technology could have dire consequences, contributing to the achievement gap and widening digital divide between rich and poor students.

Overall, only about 6 percent of teachers have a tablet for every student, and only about 5 percent have a desktop computer for every student. Forty-five percent of teachers say their school is outfitted with technology that is too outdated to be helpful, the report found.

Exposure to technology in school can be especially important for students without access to computers or the internet at home. In 2013, about 75 percent of households reported internet use, according to the U.S. Census.

The most affluent schools are being outfitted with the fastest internet connections. About 39 percent of schools with an affluent student population have high-speed internet, compared to 14 percent of schools with a low-income student population.

Since 2000, over 600,000 teachers have made requests for help with classroom projects and items on DonorsChoose.org.

In March, Iowa educator Tera Sperfslage said she raised $3,500 through the site to buy classroom supplies, including reading games and number charts, for her first-grade class.

“Our students are hungry. They come hungry for food, and hungry for love and affection, and hungry to learn,” Sperfslage told The Huffington Post at the time. “They need us to make school entertaining for them and engaging. They have so many other things on their minds and plates.”

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4 simple reason why you need more to learn your syllabus digitally with BYTE PROFESSOR

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“Books will soon be obsolete in public schools… Our education system will be completely changed inside of ten years,” said Thomas Edison in an interview published in The New York Dramatic Mirror in July 1913.

Edison saw the potential of classroom technology in changing the way students or aspirants learn but he underestimated the education system’s remarkable resistance to innovation.

In the 100 years since Edison’s prediction, it wasn’t until recently that technology really started to get ingrained in the learning experience and even now we’re still barely scratching the surface, but it’s time to insanely overcome this with our byte professor.

In the past, education decision makers saw classroom technology as a disruption on the long-established methods of learning.

However, today more and more colleges and universities are finally realizing that technology (specifically mobile devices and Wi-Fi) are already a major part of your students’ lives. They already live and breath technology, so why should that stop when they get to College and universities?

Universities and colleges need to continue integrate technology which has an vision to “make the learning and understanding of university syllabus as a great experience and evaluate the learners to innovators and entrepreneurs”; to use the devices they’re going to need to master to be successful in their careers.

For many this might mean using iPads in the classroom, or integrating a LMS (learning management system) but that’s really just the beginning.

With new technology which will be available like desktop applications (offline), web application and mobile apps, Universities can now offer their students an experience that is both highly personalized and interactive!

In fact, an annual survey on the impact of technology in higher education, sponsored by e-learning platform company VitalSource and run by Wakefield Research, has questioned 519 students currently enrolled in college through an online survey.

The results show how students see technology as a means for learning and why YOU should in turn put more tech in our education.

Increasing demand for digitized learning
Around 56% or nearly six in 10 students prefer a digital class than the conventional in-person class
74% expressed how they think they’d do better in their courses if only their instructors would be available all time (which will be possible by BP) and use more technology
61% said they would likely learn more from home if they were interactive, with videos and such
Enhancing learning through digital collaboration
61% said learning would be more effective if their communication with their professors could be done instantly!
55% said they prefer instructors to track their progress in real-time
48% said the addition of digital collaboration would enhance learning
Growing enthusiasm for online classes and use of technology for studying
51% said they received better grades in online courses, a number that has grown from 42% in last year’s survey
87% use technology to read course materials, up from 63% in 2011
78% said they used devices to read digital materials “frequently,” from 48% in 2011
Laptop ownership stayed at 90% between 2014 and 2015
Smartphone ownership rose to 97% this year from 93% last year and only 47% in 2011
Tablet ownership grew to 50% this year from 43% in 2014