New Research on Media and Materials Use Shows Shifts in Teaching in K-12 Schools

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''Ed Tech from the Trenches'' identifies centrality of Internet use in teaching and large gaps in effective learning of 21st century skills.

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With fee-based online resources such as streaming video subscriptions among the most popular supplemental resources, plus increasing use of print textbooks, computer courseware and digital textbooks, the curriculum trend is diversification.

Long-needed research is now available on the changing mix of instructional teaching resources in K-12 schools and their effectiveness in developing of 21st century skills. The new ''Ed Tech from the Trenches: Shifting Media and Materials Use in K-12 Education'' report, authored by industry expert Sari Follansbee, Ed.D., and published by Marketing Projects, Inc., publisher of The Big Deal Book of Technology and other specialized K-12 publications, shows a continuing diversification of educational media and materials and the increase of Internet use for teaching and learning over the next two years. The report highlights findings from two annual online surveys of more than 1,600 K-12 teachers, technology coordinators, media specialists, and administrators nationwide.

''Ed Tech from the Trenches'' presents unique comparative analyses and innovative charts featuring use of:

  •     Digital resources in relation to print.
  •     Core curriculum in relation to supplemental and reference materials.
  •     Digital equivalents of print products in relation to Web 2.0 solutions.
  •     All of the above in relation to effective learning of 21st century skills.

Other research highlights confirm industry trends such as:

  •     Increase of hours spent on the computer and online at school and home.
  •     Significant expansion in use of digital equipment and devices such as interactive whiteboards and handhelds.
  •     Growing ubiquity of broadband and wireless connections.

"The report provides context," said Follansbee, president of EdTech Design Associates. "It presents data for new and emerging instructional resources in relation to traditional teaching materials. For example, how would you interpret the finding that 48 percent of survey participants rate blogs effective for 21st century life skills? Does it change when you learn that 40 percent of the same group rate textbooks as effective for the same set of skills? Presenting instructional resources in relation to each other increases our understanding of the findings."

Survey participants represent a full range of K-12 positions, subject areas, and grade levels across the United States. Respondents are considered to be "technology-forward" as they are readers of The Big Deal Book of Technology e-newsletter and most are members of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

"Those in the trenches indicate plans for a more blended curriculum over the next two years," said Marilyn Schutz, publisher of The Big Deal Book of Technology. "With fee-based online resources such as streaming video subscriptions among the most popular supplemental resources, plus increasing use of print textbooks, computer courseware and digital textbooks, the curriculum trend is diversification."

Print textbooks, while they did not receive high scores for fostering 21st century skills, are still at the core of instruction for a majority of teachers. Another important finding was the degree to which classroom teachers differed in their usage plans of print and digital instructional materials compared to media specialists, technology coordinators and buyers. Teachers clearly are holding on to print longer than their colleagues although many are, at the same time, quickly adopting online resources like the others. The trend line is clear, that as access to the Internet becomes fast and ubiquitous in schools, and online curriculum becomes more available, traditional print materials will continue to give way to their digital equivalents along with a host of emerging online resources.

Copies of ''Ed Tech from the Trenches: Shifting Media and Materials Use in K-12 Education'' and report site licenses may be purchased from Marketing Projects, Inc. For additional research findings on the changing mix of teaching resources used in K-12 schools, a sampler download, and online purchase, visit http://www.bigdealbook.com/edtech or phone 800-650-0034.

About Marketing Projects, Inc.
Marketing Projects, Inc. (http://www.marketingprojectsinc.com) has been an innovative K-12 publisher and integrated marketing company for more than 15 years.

About Ed Tech Design Associates
EdTech Design Associates does research and product development with educational publishers, developers, and schools using disruptive technologies to transform K-12 education.

For more information, contact:
Sari Follansbee, EdTech Design Associates, 617-388-6525, sari @ edtechdesign.com
Marilyn Schutz, Marketing Projects, 847-991-8066, maschutz @ aol.com
Charlene Blohm, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc., 608-839-9800, charlene @ cblohm.com

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