The use of e-learning software and other high-tech educational tools are making their way into U.S. classrooms. Three-quarters of schools surveyed by IT industry association CompTIA said they plan or currently make use of e-learning software. Two-thirds of teachers said they currently or plan to use classroom management software, according to CompTIA’s “The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology.”
“These tools facilitate online homework, accommodate students out for extended sick periods and make online collaboration between students and teachers easier,” Carolyn April, CompTIA senior director, industry analysis, was quoted in a press release. “In many ways the education process is mirroring the way corporate America functions: remote access capabilities, teacher and student mobility and a 24/7 availability environment.”
Classroom Technology Adoption
With earlier generation IT systems and devices already pervasive, wireless access has also become nearly universal, CompTIA highlights. Wireless network access is present in 85 percent of the schools surveyed, suggesting that “mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred and primary computing tools for students and teachers alike.”
Failing to make use of IT in schools can have negative impacts on education and students’ prospects for future success, CompTIA found:
- 43 percent of teachers and staff say it contributes to a feeling of falling behind in a digital economy;
- 25 percent say it leads to lower staff and teacher productivity;
- 22 percent feel it contributes to lower student achievement.
“This serves as a reminder that each student may have different preferences when it comes to learning,” April commented. “It’s not always possible to customize the learning experience for each student, but technology often allows for a degree of customization not found with other learning modalities.”
Financing and finding funds to cover the initial and recurring costs of adoption top the list of obstacles to broader adoption. That includes “ongoing subscription and usage fees associated with certain technologies,” CompTIA notes.