U.S. Schools Make Slow Progress Toward One-to-One Classrooms

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A recent nationwide survey by JogNog reveals that teachers need educational technology, but schools are still unprepared to support them.

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Successful one-to-one learning programs don’t focus on devices. Schools must keep the focus on engaging students through collaborative and creative learning.

JogNog, a leading provider of ready-to-use quizzes for formative and summative assessment, released a report on the state of technology in the U.S. school system. Despite a nationwide movement to transition classrooms into one-to-one digital classrooms, a recent survey of 175 teachers across the country shows that only 18% of schools actually have one-to-one technology in use; 11% do not have even a single computer for their students to use.

The study results highlight two clear trends: many who use one-to-one technology are not integrating it with their teaching; and U.S. schools require increased budgets to fully implement one-to-one initiatives successfully.

While schools vary on how they acquire educational technology products, nearly half of the schools surveyed rely on their school district. Many of these school districts do not implement technology for day-to-day management of student information and grading, making it more challenging for teachers to convince their administration to invest in technological resources.

The results indicate that one-to-one adoption at many schools is currently still in a one-to-one “valley of gloom” where capabilities and training are inadequate for the technology to be part of the everyday school process. Budget constraints are slowing down the deployment of technology resources because sufficient funds are not being allocated for content, apps, or teacher training.

Here are key observations from the research:

  • A vast majority of students use limited computing resources on carts or in shared computer labs. However, only 18% of schools provide a tablet or other computing device to each student. At 11% of schools, students have no access to computer resources at all.
  • By far, the biggest barrier to one-to-one computing is budget. However, many of the other significant barriers such as hardware and software problems, poor internet access, and poor training can also be mapped back to budgetary restrictions.
  • Because resources are inadequate, the ways that tablets and other devices are used are quite limited. In-class projects and extra credit assignments are the most common applications. Nearly 60% of teachers don’t use any learning or assessment apps.

“I’m surprised how few schools have actually implemented a one-to-one initiative and how often those initiatives are still used for special projects and extra credit rather than integrated with day-to-day teaching,” said Stephen Smith, CEO of JogNog. “The solution is patience and perseverance and to learn from success stories such as the Burlington Public Schools in Massachusetts that moved through the one-to-one valley of gloom relatively quickly.”

Burlington was among the first in the nation to implement a program of one tablet for each student. Dennis Villano, Burlington’s Director of Technology Integration, shares his insights: “Successful one-to-one learning programs don’t focus on devices. Schools must keep the focus on engaging students through collaborative and creative learning. In Burlington, we involve everyone - students, teachers, and community - in the learning process. The ultimate goal always remains clear: provide the best education possible.”

A free research report on the results of the survey is available online at http://www.JogNog.com/news/jognog2014survey.pdf.

About JogNog

JogNog provides a comprehensive system for formative and summative assessment that motivates students to learn in an engaging and fun way. Specifically designed to meet teachers’ needs, JogNog delivers quizzes aligned to Common Core and state curriculum standards for grades 2 through 12. JogNog uses the latest in educational research to create competitive learning games that enhance student assessment and learning. It is available on the web, iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, and the educational tablets Amplify and Kuno. For more information about JogNog, visit http://www.JogNog.com.

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Paul Buta
JogNog
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