Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Web 2.0 Usage Increasing in K-12 Schools report

The use of Web 2.0 is increasing in K-12 schools. But, according to a new report, more widespread adoption is being hampered at least in part by teachers' lack of knowledge of how to use the technologies.

For the report, researchers surveyed 388 K-12 technology directors, leaders, and staffers across the country in an effort to gauge attitudes toward and adoption of social and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies, including student-generated content, teacher-generated content, social networking in an educational context, gaming, virtual learning environments, digital media, and communications technologies.

What the researchers found was that acceptance of Web 2.0 has increased since 2009--the first year of the survey--but that there are still some barriers to adoption, including some lingering perceptions of student "safety" risks, lack of technical support (including technical personnel), and lack of knowledge on the part of teachers of the effective use of Web 2.0 technologies. This last was, according to the researchers, "the most frequently cited human-related barrier to adoption."

On the positive side, more schools are reporting that significant portions of their teaching staff are creating their own content online. For the latest survey, 76 percent of districts reported that at least a quarter of all teachers create content online. This compared with 64 percent from the 2009 survey. Also up was the use of student-generated content by teachers, with 45 percent reporting that at least 25 percent of teachers use student-generated online work, compared with 32 percent in 2009.

Interactive Educational Systems Design on behalf of ed tech developers Atomic Learning, Lightspeed Systems, and netTrekker, 2011, http://www.digitaldistrictsurvey.com/pages/digital-districts

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