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Walden News // Jun 28, 2010

Walden University Honors Dr. Hershel K. Swinger, Founder of Project Fatherhood, with Presidential Award for Leadership in Social Change

Denver—June 28, 2010—An increased use of technology in the classroom by K–12 teachers yields a perceived positive impact on student learning, engagement and the development of 21st century skills, according to the study Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths. The report was released today by The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University during the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference and exposition (formerly known as NECC) in Denver.

The Riley College of Education and Leadership commissioned the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. K–12 teachers and school administrators to determine whether classroom teachers and school administrators believe that using technology and fostering 21st century skills benefit their students.

Core findings of Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths include:

  • Teachers who use technology frequently report greater benefits to student learning, engagement and skills from technology than teachers who spend less time using technology to support learning.
  • Teachers who completed their initial certification or licensure since 2000 do not believe their pre-service programs taught them how to teach 21st century skills or how to effectively incorporate technology into instruction.
  • There is little association between a teacher’s years of experience and the frequency of technology use in the classroom.

The findings reveal perceived differences related to teachers’ use of technology in the classroom and the impact of technology on perceived student learning.

“This study underscores the growing importance of integrating technology instruction into our educational programs while at the same time ensuring that our future educators are prepared to teach 21st century skills to students nationwide,” said Dr. Kate Steffens, dean of the Riley College of Education and Leadership.

Classroom Instruction, Professional Development Implications
“Using technology alone is not enough for students,” said Cindy Johanson, executive director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, publisher of Edutopia. “Training teachers to effectively integrate technology in the classroom will help engage students and create an interactive learning environment.”

Teachers believe advanced training and certification programs do a better job at preparing them to incorporate technology into their instruction than pre-certification or licensure training, the study found.

“This study firmly shows that continued technological education throughout a teacher’s career is vital to providing students with the skills they will need for future careers,” said Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association. “This survey shows that school boards need to be as intentional and purposeful as possible in supporting increased technology integration in schools.”

Technology engages many types of students regardless of learning style, language barriers and academic needs, teachers and administrators report.

“This study is important, because it underscores the critical role individual teachers play in effective implementation of educational technology,” said Douglas Levin, executive director, State Educational Technology Directors Association. “High-quality teacher preparation and professional development can make all the difference.”

While administrators reported seeing the benefits of technology use for students, teachers’ perception of administrator support for classroom technology use varies.

“Education and education technology leaders have a responsibility to provide a vision around powerful use of technology to transform learning, and they must model it with their actions,” Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking added.

About the Study
The findings in this report are based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. educators, including 783 teachers and 274 principals or assistant principals. Respondents are closely representative of teacher and administrator populations by region, school level and years of experience.

Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths was developed by Grunwald Associates LLC, a full-service research and consulting firm that provides guidance and generates insights on technology and media use by students, parents and educators. The report is based on research conducted by Eduventures, Inc., a leader in research and consulting for higher education institutions.

About The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University
Walden’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership offers degree programs that support the needs of educators from preschool through higher education and at various stages of their profession, including new and veteran classroom teachers, experienced faculty members and administrators, and career-changers interested in teaching. Offerings include bachelor’s, master’s, post-master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as individual graduate courses, special education endorsement programs and a teacher preparation program.

About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 21 countries.

Walden offers more than 45 degree programs with more than 195 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include: health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, technology and engineering. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,