SpeakUp's latest report is From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations with K-12 education.
They report that 84% of school principals believe that effective use of technology within instruction is important for student success, but cite that the biggest obstacle is getting teachers to change their instructional practice to one infused with technology; the top barrier is the lack of teacher training on how to integrate digital content within instruction.
According to principals the 5 biggest benefits of using more digital content:
- Increases student engagement
- Extends learning beyond the school day
- Enables personalized instruction
- Increase relevancy and quality of instructional materials
- Improves teachers’ skills with technology
What are the biggest uses of technology by teachers? 68% use videos they find online, 48% use games, 36% use online curriculum and 30% use online textbooks.
Students, not surprisingly, embrace these forms of instruction. One example, through the eyes of a 6th grade student: “Virtual reality simulations can help us with subjects like science, help us interact with chemicals or tools that can be dangerous in the real world. Even in History we could practically time travel and experience the Trojan War or experience what it was like to be a Pilgrim without any real danger.”
MS and HS students like video-based instruction:
- They can watch it as many times as they want
- Easier to understand concepts
- Connects lessons to the real world
- Fits their learning style
- Easy to access and find
Yet, relatively few students seek out resources on their own. Only 44% of HS girls and 34% of HS boys say they independently go online to find videos to help them learn. About half of all secondary students say that they are learning important things online on their own outside school.
To me, that is the biggest disappointment. It's exciting to live in a time of change. But, I would have hoped schools would be better able to spark students to take more control of their own learning.