Increased Technology Use Positively Affects Perceived Student Learning

New study dispels myths about teachers' experience with technology and its effectiveness in the classroom.

by Converge Staff / June 29, 2010 0

An increased use of technology in the classroom by K-12 teachers yields a perceived positive impact on student learning, engagement and the development of 21st century skills, according to the study Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths. The report was released by The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University during the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference and exposition (formerly known as NECC) in Denver.

The Riley College of Education and Leadership commissioned the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. K-12 teachers and school administrators to determine whether classroom teachers and school administrators believe that using technology and fostering 21st century skills benefit their students.

Core findings of Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths include:

  • Teachers who use technology frequently report greater benefits to student learning, engagement and skills from technology than teachers who spend less time using technology to support learning.
  • Teachers who completed their initial certification or licensure since 2000 do not believe their pre-service programs taught them how to teach 21st century skills or how to effectively incorporate technology into instruction.
  • There is little association between a teacher's years of experience and the frequency of technology use in the classroom.

The findings reveal perceived differences related to teachers' use of technology in the classroom and the impact of technology on perceived student learning.

"This study underscores the growing importance of integrating technology instruction into our educational programs while at the same time ensuring that our future educators are prepared to teach 21st century skills to students nationwide," said Dr. Kate Steffens, dean of the Riley College of Education and Leadership.


Classroom Instruction, Professional Development Implications

Teachers believe advanced training and certification programs do a better job at preparing them to incorporate technology into their instruction than pre-certification or licensure training, the study found.

"This study firmly shows that continued technological education throughout a teacher's career is vital to providing students with the skills they will need for future careers," said Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association. "This survey shows that school boards need to be as intentional and purposeful as possible in supporting increased technology integration in schools."

Technology engages many types of students regardless of learning style, language barriers and academic needs, teachers and administrators report.

"This study is important, because it underscores the critical role individual teachers play in effective implementation of educational technology," said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association. "High-quality teacher preparation and professional development can make all the difference."

While administrators reported seeing the benefits of technology use for students, teachers' perception of administrator support for classroom technology use varies.

"Education and education technology leaders have a responsibility to provide a vision around powerful use of technology to transform learning, and they must model it with their actions," Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking added.

For a full copy of the report, visit