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Students Unimpressed with Faculty Use of Ed Tech

While students and faculty seem to agree on the importance of technology in education, the two groups do not agree on how well it's being implemented. According to new research released Monday, only 38 percent of students indicated that their instructors "understand technology and fully integrate it into their classes." Students also rated that lack of understanding as "the biggest obstacle to classroom technology integration."

Despite this, 74 percent of higher education instructors polled indicated that they "incorporate technology into every class or nearly every class," and 67 percent said they were "satisfied with their technology professional development." Faculty also seem to lag in the social media department, according to the report. While 52 percent of students said they use social networking tools for education, only 14 percent of faculty members said they use social networking for teaching purposes. (Thirty-six percent of faculty members use social networking tools for non-academic purposes.)

The report, "2009 21st-Century Campus Report: Defining the Vision," released by CDW Government, polled about 1,000 students, instructors, and IT department staff members in order to gauge their attitudes about technology used in education and their expectations for the future.

"Ten years into the 21st-century, we still lacked consensus on the features that define the modern college campus. To answer this question, we asked the educational community to identify the elements and strategies necessary to prepare graduates for success now and as they move into the modern workplace," said Julie Smith, vice president, higher education for CDW-G, in a statement released to coincide with the report. "Across the board, students, faculty and staff view technology as a means to bring the campus community together and further educational goals. They all acknowledge that we haven't achieved the vision, but their insights have set a clear path forward."

The report also found that students now more than ever are using technology regularly in preparation for class: 81 percent of them this year said they use technology every day before class to prepare compared with 63 percent last year. Researchers also asked students which technologies they thought their institutions should offer. The top results included:

  • Wireless access (76 percent in 2009 versus 50 percent in 2008);
  • Computer labs (66 percent in 2009 versus 55 percent in 208); and
  • Course management systems (53 percent in 2009 versus 31 percent in 2008).


The complete report is available for download now. Further information and a link to the PDF can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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