If you're an educator or someone who works in the nation's K–12 system, you're probably familiar with the word no: No, we don't have enough money for supplies. No, we can't afford new computers for the science lab. Yes, we believe in the power of technology. We just can't afford it. No way. No how.
It's an unfortunate and all-too-common refrain. In the rare instance there is money on the table, legislators and other stakeholders want hard proof of what they already know: Technology is an essential ingredient in a successful 21st-century education.
Give 'Em What They Want
In May of last year, the folks at CDW-G surveyed more than 1,000 high school students, faculty, and district IT professionals around the country to get their take on technology's place in the classroom.
Next time someone asks you why your school should open up its checkbook for a new wireless network or a computer lab, offer one of these 21 reasons. Don't take no for an answer.
- 46 percent of high school teachers say they regularly assign homework that requires use of technology.
- High school IT professionals report that 73 percent of districts are currently using or considering using digital content.
- 39 percent of high school students say their school is meeting their technology expectations.
- While 73 percent of high school faculty say digital content is essential for the 21st-century classroom, only 11 percent of districts are using it, according to high school IT professionals.
- 86 percent of high school students say they use technology more outside of school than in class.
- 65 percent of high school IT professionals say their district plans to increase investment in classroom technology in the next 2 years, up from 51 percent in 2010.
- 30 percent of high school students say their school seeks student input on classroom technology.
- 41 percent of high school students say they are encouraged to use technology throughout the school day.
- 75 percent of high school faculty say they regularly use technology to teach.
- 45 percent of high school faculty report that their current classroom technology meets their expectations.
- 78 percent of high school IT professionals say districts prepare students to use technology successfully after high school.
- The percentage of high school IT professionals who rate their district's technology as cutting edge or current grew from 41 percent in 2010 to 64 percent in 2011.
- 47 percent of high school IT professionals said their IT budget decreased from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2011-2012 school year.
- 34 percent of high school students say that a lack of budget is the biggest challenge to classroom technology at their school.
- 30 percent of high school students believe that smartphones are essential to a 21st-century classroom compared with 17 percent of teachers.
- 94 percent of students believe learning and mastering technology skills will improve their educational and career opportunities.
- When evaluating mobile devices to use for education, just 19 percent of students say screen size is important.
- 68 percent of high school faculty said they use technology to communicate with other teachers.
- 14 percent of high school students use technology to communicate with their teachers.
- 74 percent of high school faculty said they think they understand how students want to use technology as a learning tool; 49 percent of students agree.
- 59 percent of students said they use technology to communicate with other students for learning purposes.
For the full report, see CDW-G's 21st-Century Classroom Report.