Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Education: U.S. - teachers say text books becoming obsolete

Six out of ten (65 percent)* teachers and school administrators from across the country attending the ASCD Critical Transformation Show & Conference believe the printed textbook will soon be completely replaced by interactive and e-learning tools, according to a survey sponsored by CompassLearning during the three-day conference that ended, March 8th.

The survey echoes findings from a recent report by the Gates Foundation and Scholastic in which only 12 percent of teachers see improved academic achievement through traditional textbooks.

However, this new study shows not nearly as many teachers as school administrators see the demise of the traditional textbook. While 73 percent of administrators at the school and district level say the textbook is becoming a thing of the past, only 53 percent of teachers share the same opinion.

Even so, teachers and administrators alike do not believe they are adequately prepared for student needs in the digital age. In fact, 70 percent believe their schools and districts are only somewhat prepared for necessary adaptations to the classroom.

"Students today are a generation of digital natives who have grown up with technology that lets them play, learn and communicate with each other," said CompassLearning CEO Eric Loeffel. "So it's not all that surprising that they expect the experience to continue in the classroom. In effect, they are saying, if you want to teach me, connect with me on my terms, with the tools and devices that are a critical part of my life."

Both an expectation of a shift to e-learning tools in the classroom and a sense of not being prepared are highest in the South. Three out of four (75 percent) educators from southern states believe the textbook is going away and 78 percent report their school districts in the South are only 'somewhat prepared,' the highest across all regions.

Educational software company CompassLearning sponsored the survey, conducted by market research firm PURSUIT among a random sampling of 287 educators attending the annual ASCD conference held in San Antonio. Nearly 8,000 educational leaders attended this year's show.

Source: CompassLearning

* Small point but when I was in school, "Six out of ten" made 60 per cent :)

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