Perspectives

CTF and MediaSmarts survey on networked technologies in the classroom

By Rick Riel
June 29, 2015

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation, in partnership with MediaSmarts, recently conducted a survey of K-12 teachers in order to gain a better understanding of how teachers and their teaching practices are being impacted by networked technologies. Over 4,000 teachers across Canada responded to the survey which was conducted between Feb. 2 and 9, 2015. The following provides some selected highlights based on preliminary survey findings.

Using networked technologies to support learning

  • About two-thirds of teachers surveyed (65%) report they (“frequently” or “occasionally”) break students into groups and use one or more technologies to match different learning styles. This includes over 1 in 5 respondents (22%) who said it occurs “frequently”.

  • 4 in 10 teachers indicate they (“frequently” or “occasionally”) provide access to self-learning modules that allow students to proceed at their own pace.

  • 34% of teachers indicate they (“frequently” or “occasionally”) have students work collaboratively using a wiki or Google doc.

  • 31% of teachers indicate they (“frequently” or “occasionally”) use social media to introduce students to broader conversations about a topic.

  • Almost 8 in 10 teachers (79%) agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) that networked devices make it easier for their students to learn, including 29% who “strongly” agree.

  • 74% of teachers surveyed agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) that networked devices make it easier for them to match their instructional practice to students’ various learning styles, including 27% who “strongly” agree.

  • 64% of teachers report that Internet websites they attempt to access for educational purposes in their classroom are “occasionally” blocked by their school/board filter, while 19% said this happens “frequently” and 17% said it “never” happens.

Support for the integration of technology into teaching practices

  • 54% of teachers agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) they have sufficient support in their school/district to help them learn how to use various kinds of networked technologies, including 15% who “strongly agree”.

  • Half of teachers agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) they have sufficient support in their school/district to enable them to use various kinds of networked technologies to meet curricular goals, including 13% who “strongly agree”.

Developing student skills using networked technologies

  • 94% of teachers report it is “very” important that their students learn about staying safe online, followed by learning about appropriate online behavior (93%), dealing with cyberbullying (89%), understanding online privacy issues and settings (88%), and verifying that online information is credible/relevant/accurate (87%).

Knowledge and skills pertaining to teaching with networked technologies

  • 95% of teachers feel confident (“very” or “somewhat”) about their knowledge and skills with respect to teaching students about searching for online information, including 57% who are “very” confident.

  • 9 in 10 teachers feel confident (“very” or “somewhat”) about their knowledge and skills with respect to teaching students about staying safe online, including 45% who feel “very” confident.

  • 88% of teachers feel confident (“very” or “somewhat”) with verifying that online information is credible/relevant/accurate. About 4 in 10 teachers (42%) feel “very” confident, including 56% of secondary school teachers, 37% of elementary school teachers and 24% of junior kindergarten and kindergarten teachers.

Rick Riel is a researcher with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

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Perspectives web magazine is published by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 238,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada.

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