Computers help students but technology in classroom lacking, teachers say
Access to laptops, tablet computers and other devices can be hugely beneficial to the educational experience, teachers say, but many schools lack the resources to provide students with the necessary technology.
According to a study conducted by PBS LearningMedia, 91 percent of surveyed teachers say they have access to a computer in their classrooms. Ninety-three percent add that interactive whiteboards can improve the learning process, and 81 percent say the same about tablets.
However, only 22 percent of surveyed teachers say they have access to the "right level of technology." Cost is the greatest obstacle to introducing new technology to the classroom, cited by 63 percent of the teachers. Support from school boards and parents also factors into this dilemma.
"Over the past decade, we've seen broadening adoption and deeper integration of digital media in classrooms for all age groups, with teachers enthusiastic about the power of new technologies to foster learning," says PBS Education senior vice president Rob Lippincott. "It's clear most teachers are embracing technology and need more resources."
This trend may be turning around though. A 2011 study from analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray predicts that tablets will outnumber computers in US schools by 2016, Apple Insider reports. According to the study, schools throughout the country will have an average of 6 students per tablet, versus today's 10 students per computer.