Project Tomorrow’s 2008 annual survey data on the use of educational technology in schools reveals a disconnect between school administrators and parents. Parents are dissatisfied with the technology skills their children are learning at school. According to the survey data, “…only one third of parents and 40 percent of students in grades 6-12 believe that schools are doing a good job of preparing students for the 21st century. In contrast, more than half of principals surveyed believe they are doing a good job of preparing students.” Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, states, “Parents do not feel that schools are effectively preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century, and [they] view technology implementation as essential to student success.”
Parents voiced their concern that teachers need more training and more access to current technology. Parents also “…support the implementation of modern, technology-infused approaches to teaching and learning, ranging from online textbooks to tools such as interactive whiteboards, laptops for students, computer projection devices, and technology-based organizational tools.”
With parents and students as the “end user” or “client” of education, shouldn’t schools do all they can to meet their needs and wants? I realize “easier said than done” but data speaks loudly and should lead to change.
FYI – Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up project reports views of more than 335,000 K-12 students, parents, and educators. Check out more details about the interesting findings at http://www.tomorrow.org/Speakup/.