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Technology and High School Teachers

Teachers are realizing the importance of technology and are integrating it into the classrooms.
 Students, Teachers growing fond of Technology.

Written By: Angie Mansfield


Technology is ever-evolving, and nowhere is this more clear than in today's classrooms.


Many high school students now own smartphones or tablets, and some schools are getting on board with issuing tablets with pre-loaded coursework to students.


Meanwhile, the internet, smart phones, and social media have presented brand-new challenges for teachers -- especially when it comes to providing equal education to students from different income levels or in lower-income school districts.


Effects on Teaching


According to a recent survey of 2,462 middle and high school teachers conducted by the Pew Research Center, 92% of teachers agree that the internet is a major influence in their ability to access resources and materials for their classes.


The internet also greatly affects their ability to share ideas with other teachers, according to 69% of those surveyed. It has a major impact on their ability to interact with parents, according to 67% of teachers, and 57% say it also affects their interaction with students.


Income Disparity


One of the biggest challenges teachers have reported with using technology in the classroom is limited access for lower-income students.


For example, only 37% of those who teach mainly low-income students use tablet computers in the classroom, compared to 56% of those who teach high-income students.


The same is true of e-readers, with 41% of teachers in low-income districts using them, compared to 55% in high-income districts.


And while 52% of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students report their students using cell phones to look up information in class, only 35% of those teaching low-income students reported cell phone usage for classwork.


School Support


Income plays a big role in school system support of technology in the classroom, as well.

While only 15% of teachers in upper-income districts say their school is lagging behind in integrating technology into the learning process, that number jumps to 39% in lower-income schools.


Not surprisingly, more resources are provided to teachers in high-income schools to help incorporate digital tools into the learning process. And teachers of students from low-income households are twice as likely to believe students' inability to access technology is a major challenge to using these tools in their teaching.


Use of Technology in the Classroom


Facts and figures aside, more and more students are hooked on their phones and computers, and some schools are embracing the change.


One example is New Technology High School in Napa, California, which encourages its students to bring their own computers to class.


The school uses online tools ranging from Twitter and Gchat to YouTube in lessons. In an age when many districts enforce strict rules about students' social media usage and other online activity, schools like New Technology take a different path. Instead of barring social media, they use it to help teach their students responsibility.


While challenges remain, especially in districts that serve a lot of low-income students, technology is a growing part of classroom life.


As digital technology continues to evolve, teachers will need to keep finding creative ways to include it in their curricula.

About the Author: Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers a variety of topics for both individuals and small business owners. Her work addresses such things as health, social media, and how to remove personal information from online records.

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