Front Row Blog

Teachers PD Will Focus on Tech Tools over the Summer

Posted by Annie Johansen on June 8, 2016 at 3:00 AM

A new survey from Front Row Education finds educational technology is a favorite of K-8  students, cite game-like feel as a key reason; students more focused than with most other activities within the classroom

San Francisco, CA- June 8, 2016— This summer, while teachers embrace the period away from interacting daily with students, they will spend a great deal of their time developing new curriculum, prepping their classrooms, attending required school and district meetings and determining what new technology to introduce. In addition, a new study released by Front Row Education, Inc, a leader in individualized math and ELA resources for K-8 students, found that more than 40 percent of K-8 teachers will spend 20 or more hours on professional development. Fifteen percent of these teachers will spend more than 50 hours.  

Most teachers will stay close to home to receive their professional development, through their school district and within their school, with online courses and conferences also popular options for learning this summer. Technology tools top the list of topics teachers plan to focus on, followed by pedagogical practices, student engagement and content writing.

Most teachers plan to introduce new technology in 2016-2017 school year

Given so much attention is being placed on learning more about technology in the classroom, it’s no surprise that nearly all (95%) of teachers surveyed plan to introduce new technology into their classrooms in the coming year.  Nearly half (48%) will evaluate those technologies over the summer, with 13 percent of teachers deciding on which new technologies to introduce before the prior school year ends, and 22 percent waiting until the new school year begins.

A teacher’s first-hand experience using a new technology is the top evaluation method

To determine which technologies to introduce, more than 90 percent of teachers use these new tools themselves, the most widely cited form of evaluation. Other ways teachers evaluate these new technologies include:

  • 66 percent test new technology with their students directly at the beginning of the year
  • 64 percent watch videos on how the product works
  • 40 percent read extensively about the product
  • 36 percent have other teachers demonstrate how they use the tool
  • 28 percent have their family play with them and give them their thoughts

Students enjoy time on devices, and are more focused when they do

This heavy focus on technology is likely a result of the reaction students have to online learning. The survey found that teachers believe students enjoy time spent using technology more than most other activities throughout the day. When it comes to student enjoyment, teachers ranked recess and PE above technology use, while lunch, art, group projects, music and library all fell below.

Teachers believe that using technology feels like a game and is fun for their students, and is the top reason they enjoy their time on devices. The interactivity of online tools, that its use breaks up their day and that the practice feels more personalized to their abilities are also key reasons for this enjoyment. Students are also more focused using technology, with 89 percent of teachers noting their students are more or somewhat more focused than anything else they do throughout the day.

“It is incredibly rewarding to confirm across the board what we’ve seen first hand-- students enjoying their time using technology in the classroom,” said Sidharth Kakkar, CEO of Front Row Education. “While our number one priority is ensuring students are learning to the best of their ability, an added bonus is that they have fun. We hope this translates into building ongoing confidence and a love of learning long after they leave the device behind.”

For more information on Front Row, visit www.frontrowed.com.

 

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