This article, written by By Megan Kaesshaefer can be found on Scholastic.
Given my own experience, the myths presented below are rampant yet the realities are spot on the mark, reinforcing the need for Tech Integration Specialists in schools. Training, though important, isn't the answer as much as it is part of a solution. A Tech Integration Specialist working side by side with a teacher can do more in one hour than any day long training session because the work is relevant and specific to teacher needs. Once teachers begin using technology in the classroom, the realities of Myth #3 becomes glaringly apparent.
True or false: Technology in the classroom helps kids learn. A new survey reveals the answer, and the top five myths surrounding technology in K-12 classrooms.
Myth 1: New teachers who have greater access to technology are more likely to use it.
The Reality: A teacher's experience and age don't affect how often or well she uses tech. About 72 percent of frequent users have taught for 10 years or more.
Myth 2: Only high-achieving students benefit from using technology.
The Reality: Technology doesn't discriminate. Using technology helps to engage all types of students: high achievers, English language learners, and students with special needs.
Myth 3: Kids today are so comfortable with technology that teachers don't necessarily need to use it in the classroom.
The Reality: Kids may use tech on their own time, but fostering 21st-century skills is best done through active learning in a classroom setting. Plus, setting a good example encourages students to use technology properly and effectively.
Myth 4: Teachers and administrators are on the same page about classroom technology use.
The Reality: While 92 percent of administrators say they are "supportive" of new technology use, only 66 percent of teachers say their administrators actually are.
Myth 5: Teachers feel well prepared to incorporate technology into instruction.
The Reality: Many teachers don't feel prepared to teach 21st-century skills or use technology in instruction. Many believe advanced teacher-to-teacher training would help.
What Kind of User Are You?
Researchers used the following criteria to assess teachers' technology use. Where do you match up?
Frequent user: You've got a whiteboard and you're not afraid to use it. When it comes to classroom instruction, tech is on your radar. Approximately one third or more of your class time involves some type of technology use.
Moderate user: If the technology is available and fairly easy to implement, you'll use it on a consistent basis. You've made sure that 21-30 percent of your class time involves the use of technology.
Sporadic user: Tech isn't a major priority in your lessons. If you can get a laptop on loan, great! If not, no big deal. Approximately 15 percent of class time uses technology.
Infrequent user: Maybe technology isn't readily available, or you prefer more traditional teaching tools, but less than 10 percent of your class time involves technology.
Source: Educators, Technology and 21st-Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths, Walden University
Read the report online.