CURRENCY, WEALTH OF RESOURCES CITED AS GREATEST CLASSROOM BENEFITS
-- OBSTACLES, DIFFICULTIES HINDER WIDER INTERNET USE --
Alexandria, VA----More than four out of five educators (82%) report using the Internet in some portion of their teaching. Of those who do, 38% say it provides current information, and 27% say it offers a wealth of resources they would not otherwise have. The voluntary survey was conducted by Cable in the Classroom (CIC) at the Florida Educational Technology Conference. Respondents included classroom teachers (58%), technology/computer specialists (19%), media specialists (12%), school administrators (5%), and other school positions (6%).
The survey found the percentage of high school teachers using the Internet slightly higher than the percentage of elementary and middle school teachers. Educators who do not use the Internet cite the lack of multimedia-capable computers as the number one reason. Other barriers to wider educational usage include: budget constraints, difficulty managing Internet use in the classroom, difficulty integrating Internet resources within curriculum, lack of control over the materials accessed, lack of time for Internet training, lack of access to a telephone or high-speed line, and the lack of material relevant to the curriculum.
"Educators realize the power of the Internet as a teaching tool and are excited about the vast educational resources it provides them," said Peggy O’Brien, Ph.D., executive director of CIC. "Where obstacles stand between teachers and the huge learning boost the Internet offers, we must remove them. Where difficulties surrounding access to technology and training exist, we must eliminate them." Other key findings from teachers who use the Internet include:
When choosing the Internet in teaching, the following factors most influence teachers’ decisions: relevance to the topic being taught (69%), likelihood of motivating students (49%), appropriateness to the needs of individual students (43%), alignment to standards (40%), and compatibility with classroom technology (30%).
Discovery (19%), followed closely by Scholastic (18%), were the most popular Web sites among educators who use the Internet in their classrooms. Other Web sites mentioned included CNN (14%), Marco Polo (9%), Yahooligans and Yahoo and Google (7% each), Weather Channel (6%), and Ask Jeeves and AOL (including AOL@School) and National Geographic (5% each).
The features that make these sites valuable and useful to teachers include: ease of access and use (31%); the quantity and quality of information they contain (20%); lesson plans (16%); the quantity and quality of teaching materials they contain (15%); the fact that they have current information (15%); interactivity (11%); their graphics, videos, and pictures (9%); good search engines (especially for children) (9%); and their user-friendliness (8%). CIC represents the cable telecommunications industry’s commitment to education – to improve teaching and learning for children in schools, at home, and in their communities. This is the only industry-wide philanthropic initiative of its kind; since 1989, 8,500 cable companies and 39 cable networks have provided free access to commercial-free, educational cable content and new technologies to 81,000 public and private schools, reaching 78 percent of K-12 students. CIC focuses on five essential elements to ensure quality education in the 21st century: visionary and sensible use of technologies, engagement with rich content, community with other learns, excellent teaching, and the support of parents and other adults.
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