My principal challenge in schools is to encourage thoughtful, useful adoption of technology to strategically support teaching and learning. Along the way, I encounter varying attitudes regarding technology in schools. We have early adopters, heavy users, techno-skeptics, occasional users, and more. I often wonder what is the best way to reach different types of technology users so that each makes the most effective use of technology for his/her educational context.
This October 2009 Educause study of undergraduate students and information technology provides some useful information that helps inform my efforts and may help temper fears that our IT department wants everyone to use IT as much as possible.
80% of students were using a learning management system (e.g., Moodle) during the quarter or semester of the survey.
63% found the experience of using a learning management system “positive” or “very positive.”
45% of students indicated that most or almost all of their instructors use IT effectively in their courses.
70% found that IT made working in their courses “more convenient.”
49% felt that using IT improved their learning.
60% prefer moderate use of IT in their courses. Only 4% preferred exclusive use of IT, and 2% no IT. Students appreciate the face-to-face learning experience.
This provides some useful language for explaining our current approach to IT integration to support teaching and learning. We would like for all teachers to explore using IT. A learning management system may smooth class operations, leaving more time to focus on learning. Face-to-face learning is still most highly valued.