The best way to find out how technology is being used in classrooms and where schools could use more support is to ask educators. That’s the goal of the annual Software and Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 2013 Vision K-20 survey. The association reached out to educators around the country through partner organizations, asking them to complete a mostly quantitative survey with a few open-ended questions included. This year more than 1,400 educators responded from all over the country. The responses were evenly distributed between educators at K-12 and post-secondary institutions.
“We had a good cross section of educators because we had so many diverse partners,” said Lindsay Harmon, education market and policy analyst for SIIA. Some members are actively focused on technology in education, like the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), but others like Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine helped SIIA reach educators who might not already be members of technology organizations.
The Vision K-20 survey asks educators about five benchmarks used to determine if technology is being used to help all learners achieve in a connected and digital world. The survey includes:
- Using 21st century learning tools for teaching and learning
- Providing anytime/anywhere educational access.
- Using technology to close the achievement gap
- Using technology-based assessment tools
- Enabling enterprise through technology (the systems that run a school)
The point of the survey is to provide a snapshot of how educators currently use technology and give educators a way to benchmark progress. Those who participate each year track how quickly their institution is meeting its technology implementation goals. To this end, the survey has begun including a question about the gap between current and ideal implementation.
Technology implementation data has stayed steady over the past three years. Twenty percent of K-12 school educators report that their schools are integrating technology at a high level and 30 percent of post-secondary educators report the same. Three-quarters of responders in both groups said technology is highly important, and they also have high expectations for their ideal level of integration. This is consistent with past years.