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Technology Not Being Used Effectively In Schools

Teachers Need Professional Development and Support to Implement School Technology


WASHINGTON - June 10, 2008 -

Educators say they don't feel adequately prepared to integrate instructional software into their classrooms and are not receiving the technical support needed to fully impact student achievement, according to a joint study by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers released today. 

Access, Adequacy, and Equity in Education Technology examines the state of resources and the support provided for education technology in public schools and classrooms nationwide as reported directly by classroom teachers and instructional assistants.  The report explores the disparities in technology access found in different community types and school levels, and also provides suggestions to help guide policymakers toward ensuring that educators and students have opportunities to use technology as an effective instructional tool.  

Teachers say that although they may have access to computers and the Internet, they don't feel adequately prepared to use the technology to enhance their lessons.  In addition to a lack of training and technical support, teachers in urban schools cite insufficient and outdated equipment and software.

"Teachers and students should have the same level of technology in schools that is being used outside of schools.  How can we expect our teachers to provide kids with the education they need to join today's high-tech workforce without the necessary equipment and training? " said NEA President Reg Weaver. 

The NEA/AFT report shows that most educators use technology for administrative tasks, but substantially fewer use it for instruction.  Although most educators believe that technology is essential to teaching and learning, they are less likely to use technology when the technology is outdated and has not been maintained.  Educators also say they would like better support and technical assistance for using both software and hardware, especially in urban schools. 

"When you see the overall condition of many of our schools and the support they receive, it is really not surprising that so many schools are lagging in technology," said AFT President Edward J. McElroy. "This is just one more indicator that the policymakers need to set a much higher value on supporting our public schools and our students."

Access, Adequacy, and Equity in Education Technology recommends that education policymakers and advocates increase access to technology in the classroom and outside of school by providing more wireless and portable technology and increasing access to high-speed Internet service.  Other proposals include establishing standards for student usage in order to integrate technology deeper into the school curriculum.


Link to report: http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/PB19_Technology08.pdf

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

The AFT represents 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; nurses and healthcare workers; and federal, state and local government employees. Visit the AFT Web site: http://www.aft.org/.

Contact: Sara Robertson or Michelle Hudgins (NEA) (202) 822-7823 Chuck Porcari or George Jackson (AFT) (202) 393-4275