How do professors really feel about technology in the classroom?

'We have the ability to engage each student one-on-one'

According to Campus Technology's first-ever Teaching with Tech survey, instructors favor the use of technology in higher education, Dian Schaffhauser and Rhea Kelly report for the publication.

The magazine asked 524 higher ed faculty members across the country about their use of technology for teaching and learning. Instructors described their experience of technology in the following ways:

  • 88% say technology made them more effective teachers;
  • 84% say technology positively affected learning;
  • 81% reported an "extremely positive" or "mostly positive" effect on education; and
  • 77% reported technology made their jobs easier.

The survey also left room for open-ended opinions about the pros and cons of education technology. One humanities professor in Georgia wrote, "Technology is making education magical. We have the ability to engage each student one-on-one."

Learn more: What's the best way to reward faculty for learning innovations?

Though respondents were largely in favor of technology in the classroom, several pointed out that technology will never be able to replace basic teaching skills like writing instruction.

"Student writers need to develop voice, gain information literacy, learn grammatical consistency, and enhance critical/analytical thinking skills... That won't change even as the mode of education shifts to incorporate more technology in the education process," wrote one humanities instructor at a New Jersey community college.

Others expressed concern about technology's benefit to students with disabilities, since some technology is largely inaccessible to students with sensory impairments. Because of this concern, faculty members in a Florida college are beginning to invite the disability office staff to review new technology before approving its use (Schaffhauser/Kelly, Campus Technology, 9/21).

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