Most K-12 Teachers Believe Personal Tech Devices Can Link Learning to Real-World Activities, Finds National University of Phoenix Teacher Survey

Teachers Share the Ways They Use Tech in the Classroom, and Educator Shares Tech Tips for Parents to Help Children Avoid the Summer Learning Slide

PHOENIX — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 24, 2015 — A recent national survey from University of Phoenix® College of Education finds that more than nine in ten (93 percent) K-12 teachers believe personal tech devices can link classroom learning to real-world activities and 89 percent expect they will be used in most classrooms in the next five years. The survey of more than 1,000 K-12 teachers across the country was conducted online by Harris Poll in April on behalf of University of Phoenix College of Education.

Educators today are integrating technology into curriculum and their classrooms in many ways.

  • Seventy-nine percent of K-12 teachers have allowed students to research subjects using the Internet in class.
  • Sixty-two percent have used games and simulations to aid learning.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) have used web-based tools to help students improve writing and comprehension skills.
  • More than one-third (36 percent) have allowed students to use tools to produce their own video content.
  • One in five (20 percent) have used clickers* to keep students engaged. The same percentage have used wikis, blogs or social media to spur student dialogue.
  • Fifteen percent have used technology to connect their students to students in another school, city, state or country.
  • More than one in ten (11 percent) have brought in experts via Skype or other technology who otherwise would not have been able to join their classes.

“In many ways, technology is tearing down classroom walls and helping educators bring new content and experts into their curriculum,” said Kathy Cook, Dean of Technology for University of Phoenix College of Education. “Today’s teachers are increasingly tech-savvy in both their personal and professional lives and are enthusiastic about using technology to keep students engaged and excited about learning.”

Technology can help parents build on the momentum created in the classroom. According to Cook, teachers and parents are often concerned that students may lose significant knowledge from the previous school year during the summer months. This is often referred to as the Summer Learning Slide.

“Technology is part of students’ lives on a daily basis, so using a variety of digital tools can promote and make learning fun inside and outside of the classroom,” said Cook. “Using digital tools during the summer can also improve children’s and parents’ tech skills.”

Cook recommends the following tips to create tech-inspired summer learning opportunities:

  1. Take a “virtual” summer vacation. Have your children research a place they would like to visit and build an interactive presentation. There are many free student-friendly software programs and apps available to build multimedia presentations. Exploring the options can be part of the fun.
  2. Turn a trip to the museum, a local event or a backyard adventure into a presentation and brag book. Have your child use a digital camera to capture an everyday or special activity and then conduct research online based on the photos. It can be something as simple as researching an insect or a tree that is common in your backyard. Then the child can share his or her new knowledge by creating a multimedia presentation or digital poster, which can serve as a digital brag book for family members.
  3. Map your trip to teach your child more about geography. Use Google Earth to chart your summer road trip and use math skills to calculate mileage and expenses.
  4. Keep kids moving with tech. Much of today’s entertainment is device-driven, but you can also use personal devices to encourage physical activity through the use of age-appropriate apps. Make it a friendly competition among your family to track who stays the most active this summer.
  5. Turn "couch potato" into "smart cookie" time. For every 30 minutes your child spends watching TV or playing games on computers, tablets, phones or video consoles, have them match that time with 30 minutes of an educational game. There are many free websites and apps that offer educational games for kids of all ages.
  6. Give your children a virtual piggy bank. There are several apps that teach children valuable lessons about saving money, budgeting and setting financial goals.
  7. Encourage them to read! One of the best activities students can do over the summer to prevent the summer learning slide is read. Load a mobile device with children’s books to keep your child engaged on the go. There are many interactive books available through apps that can interest children in reading and interacting with content.

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