Educators integrating technology into their classroom practice experience some common benefits and challenges, identified in a new report from the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) and the Evergreen Education Group. In Teaching with Technology, a survey of teachers from 38 states finds that time, thoughtful planning and support at school and district levels, and ongoing relevant professional development—are key to the success of their efforts. The report draws insight from educators teaching in traditional public schools, charter public schools, alternative education programs, and private schools—as well as in-depth interviews with teachers and administrators across the country, and school and classroom observations by its authors.
Key takeaways and recommendations include:
- Teachers value the ways that digital tools and resources allow them to differentiate instruction among students, and help students collaborate on content creation.
- Contrary to popular belief, today’s students are not necessarily comfortable using technology, and therefore they may not be as ready to use computers to learn in school and at home as assumed.
- Technology advances more quickly than human behaviors and systems, so choose a strategy to support, and stick with it.
- Teachers have different personalities and instructional strategies, and they should feel comfortable adjusting blended learning concepts to their own strengths and situations.
“Understanding both the obstacles to and promising practices of blended instructional practice is vital to developing personalized learning environments,” says Amy Valentine, FBOL’s executive director. “This report is a contemporary snapshot of the evolving educator experience as policy, practice, and technology blend into a reimagined ‘classroom’ for our students.” John Watson is founder of Evergreen Education Group. “Teachers are using technology to support their own instruction and to advance the achievement of their students,” he adds. “While their implementation can range from the very simple to the extremely complex, all involved in this transition have valuable insight into the risks and rewards to share. This report provides a view of the current shared educator experience, as well as recommendations for the next generation of teachers adopting technology into their practice.” Learn more.