Educators NZ - Technology a real force in the classroom, survey shows

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Technology a real force in the classroom, survey shows

Technology is proving to be a big time saver for teachers, according to a new survey by the Canvas team from software-as-a-service firm Instructure.

The survey of Asia Pacific teachers found 75% of respondents expressed that employing technology for their own and students’ use enables them to spend more time teaching and giving individual attention to students, rather than spending lots of time on lesson planning, marking, reporting and more.

The survey results give credence to the idea that a ‘flipped classroom’ model can work well for both students and teachers, as technology can help students get a head start on learning a subject at home, then use their classroom time for more group discussion and analysis.

According to Instructure, the performance benefits for both teachers and students are clear.

Significant numbers of respondents found that using technology to aid their teaching saves them time (53%), makes them more effective as a teacher (77%) and contributes to students being able to achieve better results (64%).

Technology employed included personal computers, smartphone and tablet apps to create lesson plans, set assignments, grade work, track students’ progress and provide feedback.

“The results of our survey reveal that teachers feel very strongly that technology is helping them to deliver a better, more interactive and immersive learning experience for their students,” explains Troy Martin, director of APAC at Instructure/

“However, when it comes to policing the use of devices to make sure pupils stay on track in lessons, the teacher has a new set of challenges to overcome,” he says.

Martin says the survey results are a far cry from the idea that technology is pushing teachers and students apart, the majority (77%) think that employing technology in the classroom makes it easier for them to communicate with and relate to their students.

However fears remain over how diverting technological devices can become, with 54% of those surveyed reported that their students get distracted by technology.

The survey shows 75% of teachers are OK with students bringing their own personal electronic devices to class for educational purposes, but in order to stem the tide of unnecessary usage in class, more than half (56%) said they have instigated a rule of no texting, emailing or use of social media for personal reasons in class.

Looking ahead to the next five years, teachers indicated that privacy will be the biggest issue to tackle in education technology, with security following closely behind.

“As we see time and again in the schools we work with, the Canvas software has the ability to help foster great teacher and student relationships, which we believe are absolutely key to making any learning program successful,” Martin adds.

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