Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, High school / Secondary 2, Public education, Required - Written by on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:04 - 0 Comments

Americans Polled About Online Ed in Public Schools Suggest Teachers Matter More Than Computers

Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup put out a survey on trends in public education called “What Americans Think of the Public Schools”. They surveyed 1,000 Americans ages 18 and over. The results show an openness to technology so long as it involves quality. And it indicates that technologists will not trump great teachers in classrooms but, rather, work with and empower them. Here’s some of the findings relevant to online learning:

E-READERS : We think e-readers are a better idea for older students than younger students. 

QUALITY TEACHING: We’ll take larger classes with more effective teachers over smaller classes with less effective teachers and access to higher-quality instruction over the Internet over learning in a classroom with a less effective teacher. The message: Quality counts. 

QUESTION ABOUT ONLINE LEARNING: Suppose a school wants to offer a new class and is considering whether the class should be taught online or in person. Would it be best for the school to hire a more effective teacher who was only available to teach over the Internet or would it be better to use a less effective teacher who could teach the class in person? TABLE 19. Do you think all high school students in your community should have their own computer to use at school? 

 National Totals  ’11                          %

More effective teacher online             46

Less effective teacher in person         50

Don’t know/refused                              5


QUESTION ABOUT COMPUTER USE: Some high schools use computer technology to allow students to learn at home. Do you favor or oppose having high school students attend school for fewer hours each week if they are using computer technology to learn at home? 

Oppose: 59%

Favor: 40%

Don’t Know/Refused: 2%
QUESTION ABOUT COMPUTER USE: Do you think all high school students in your community should have their own computer to use at school?  

Yes: 51%
No: 49%
Here are some other views on the poll: 
This is from the National School Boards Association
This is from Jenna Zwang at eSchool news.
by aaron.knox on flickr via Creative Commons

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