More than three-quarters of top education officials around the world believe technology can play a major role in how students learn and how teachers educate, according to a global survey commissioned by Cisco.
Telephone interviews were conducted with 500 education administrators and information technology decision-makers in 14 countries on five continents. The countries surveyed were Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. One half of the survey respondents were K-12 school officials, and half were college and university officials.
The survey shows that educators across the globe see three critical learning issues:
Preparing students to compete in a global economy and helping to ensure their employability after graduation were cited by 83 percent of respondents as key concerns. Today’s students need a core school program that prepares them to engage in an increasingly connected ecosystem, requiring an understanding of how to use technology to compete effectively and become productive members of tomorrow’s workforce.
Most educators, 85 percent, see technology playing a “large role” in how students learn. They also cited the impact technology can have in encouraging student engagement and participation.
The need for programs and curriculum that enable students to develop skills in team and project-based learning was noted by 86 percent of the educators. Improved communications with parents, faculty and staff is considered critical.
Importance of Key Technology Issues
Educators rated protecting students from Internet abuse very high; close behind were using technologies to collaborate better, developing stronger cybersecurity on campus, and using technology to reduce administrative expenses.
Increasing efficiency, using more video, and broadening data-driven assessments were also highly rated.
These survey results point to a new “connected learning” networked economy, which calls for technology skills development to increase global competitiveness within education. Technology can address these educators’ concerns in many ways; for example:
By personalizing teaching and learning to address the level of proficiency of each student rather than leaving students behind or going at the pace of the slowest learner. Teachers have found that using networked PC or online approaches to teaching math allows the students to progress at their own pace, freeing teachers to focus on students who need more help on a given concept.
Technology can provide innovative approaches to education while reducing the overall cost of providing education. For example, using telepresence to educate remotely improves accessibility, reducing the cost of delivering education to all students.
Video and collaboration technologies are rapidly allowing educators to be more effective and productive in teaching, anytime, anywhere. This can increase productivity by reducing travel between schools or even countries, decreasing the cost of travel downtime. “Presence” technology is becoming an emerging factor in teacher training and staff development areas; at the same time, increasing the availability of collaboration tools is fostering new “project-based” learning environments.