Survey of over 800 practitioners shows the vast majority of early education teachers are confident technology users; expanding broadband quality and access to devices seen as opportunities
BETHESDA, MD. (March 3, 2016) – Teaching Strategies, developer of the most widely adopted early childhood assessment and curriculum in the U.S., announced today new survey findings showing that a large majority of early childhood educators have access to some form of technology in the classroom and feel confident in their ability to use it. The organization’s first Early Childhood Technology Survey examined the use of technology in early childhood classrooms, polling more than 800 early childhood educators nationwide on their attitudes toward technology as well as frequency and use.
With more than 100,000 educational apps available to teachers and over $8 billion spent on educational technology last year by U.S. schools and districts, edtech adoption is booming. However, much of the discussion around classroom technology has focused on K-12’s older grades, with fewer insights on how the early childhood field is using tech to enhance teaching and learning and help teachers build more intentional relationships with children at this critical time for development and learning.
The Teaching Strategies survey confirms that high percentages of early childhood educators are already adopting tech devices for their own use in the classroom, including iPads and tablets (80%), desktops (51%), and interactive whiteboards (45%). Educators cited increased student engagement and the ability to create unique learning opportunities and leverage outside resources into the classroom as top benefits of technology in their field.
The vast majority (90%) of early childhood educators confirm that they have access to technology in the classroom and use it effectively, with 88% using it at least once a week. Survey respondents report using technology for a variety of applications from instructional support tools—such as lesson planning and interactive media—to documentation and assessment, professional development and parent/teacher communication.
“The interaction and the relationship between a teacher and a child is the foundation for all learning in early childhood education,” said Kai-leé Berke, lifelong early educator and Chief Executive Officer of Teaching Strategies. “Using technology enables teachers to more quickly identify opportunities to further support each child’s development and learning and to strengthen their own practice in ways that improve outcomes and meet the individual needs of each child.”
“As early childhood educators are incorporating digital resources into the classroom—whether online tools for self-paced professional development or technology that supports the documentation of children’s growth through observational assessment—we’re seeing that they’re able to support each child in more effective ways than before,” Berke said.
Of early education practitioners surveyed, 96% like how they are currently using technology or would like to use more technology in the early education classroom. Further, 92% feel confident in their ability to use technology. Still, survey results indicate open opportunities to strengthen access to and adoption of technology. According to the results, educators report that they could use technology more effectively with improved Internet access (35%), improved access to devices (57%) and access to higher-quality digital resources, such as apps and software.
The poll provides a snapshot of early educator attitudes towards technology in early learning classrooms, where practitioners are refining best practices for using teacher-facing technology as an extension of early childhood instruction.
The survey, conducted by Teaching Strategies, included responses from a diverse cross-section of 822 early childhood practitioners from a range of program types including Head Start, public Pre-K, and private care programs at urban, rural, and suburban schools. View the full results of the survey here.
About Teaching Strategies: With ground-breaking solutions and a strong belief that a child’s first 8 years form a critical foundation for school success, Teaching Strategies has been an advocate for the early education community for over 25 years. Today, Teaching Strategies provides curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connection resources. Its award-winning products like The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool and widely-adopted assessment solutions like GOLD® reach over 2 million children each year. To learn why thousands of early childhood programs and many states choose to partner with Teaching Strategies to help ensure children’s success in school and in life, visit www.teachingstrategies.com and follow us on Twitter @TeachStrategies.