This month, SIIA’s own Karen Billings shared her unique perspective on education technology and schools with the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk. Her article, “Perspective from the Ed Tech Field,” extrapolates on her experiences after 12 years of teaching in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary classrooms and 20 years of working in education and technology companies. In particular, she shared some of the conclusions SIIA has made after 5 years of implementing the Vision K-20 survey.
First, education technology is a booming industry. From the article:
Despite having to contend with deep budget cuts, schools have been able to maintain current levels of technology growth, a surprising find given the difficult economy and drastic budget cuts within education.
Other key points:
- Although participants say current technology use lags behind their ideal level, schools are continuing to implement technology despite budget cuts.
- Results showed an increase in technology integration that focuses on differentiated instruction, assessment tools, and information systems, suggesting these areas are priorities for schools.
- The survey also showed, for the fourth year in a row, a marked difference between K-12 and post-secondary institutions in the adoption of technology. The average scores for the 2012 survey were 2.39 for the K-12 segment and 2.71 for post-secondary (on a scale of 1-4), meaning post-secondary institutions are integrating new technologies faster than K-12 institutions.
- Technology priorities for K-12 and postsecondary are strikingly similar when it comes to using security tools to protect student data and privacy; providing high-speed broadband access for robust communication, administrative, and instructional needs; and building institution websites for the education community with access to applications, resources, and collaboration tools.
- The effects of distance education of virtual/online learning is about the same as traditional instruction, and the best results are coming from ‘blended’ learning (a mix of online and traditional face-to-face instruction).
You can get the article here.
Tracy Carlin is a Communications and Public Policy Intern at SIIA. She is also a first year graduate student at Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture and Technology program where she focuses on intersections in education, video games and gender.