Teachers’ Internet use in class and lab
- 25% use the Internet daily to educate students.
- 5% said they never use the Internet in the classroom and another 5% said it was not available to them.
- No teachers use YouTube daily, but 16% use it weekly. And 17% use other video streaming weekly.
- 5% use Facebook or Twitter in the classroom at least monthly.
- Teachers rarely use Skype or other video conferencing. About 3% use it monthly.
- During a typical class period, 45% of teachers said they spent no time online, and 59% said their students spent no time online.
- Teachers reported that their schools block Internet content, including educational sites such as Spanish language learning, and music education. Some said many sites are blocked unless there is a request to unblock them.
- Of Rockbridge County teachers, 82% said YouTube was blocked, Lexington, 36%, and Buena Vista, 23%.
- Unblocking content was moderately difficult to impossible for 78% of Rockbridge County, 58% of BV, and 46% of Lexington teachers.
Teachers’ Internet use in general
- 25% use email to communicate with students.
- 6% use Facebook to communicate with students.
- Nearly every teacher has Internet access at home (96%).
- Two-thirds have used the Internet 15 years or longer and spend between 1-3 hours online daily.
- The majority spend half of their online time doing teaching-related activities (planning, grading, instruction).
Teachers’ technology use in class and lab
- Nearly half use a computer daily in the classroom or lab to educate students.
Teachers’ attitudes toward technology and the Internet
- The higher they rated their own skill, the more they believed the Internet and technology improved student learning. Rockbridge County teachers were most likely to agree that using Internet/technology in the classroom improves student learning, followed by Lexington, and Buena Vista.
- More than half of Lexington teachers agreed (moderately to strongly) that their students know more about the Internet and technology than they do. About one fourth of Rockbridge County, and just under a third of Buena Vista teachers agreed.
- Speed ratings: In all three school systems, the majority of teachers rated the Internet speed in their classrooms and labs as average to very slow.
- Reliability ratings: The majority in Rockbridge County and Lexington said their classroom or lab Internet was average to very unreliable. But in BV, the majority rated the Internet as moderately or very reliable.
Skills (teacher self-assessment)Note that green and brown lines show higher skill ratings. Light orange means never used.
Training and support
- The majority of teachers agreed (moderately to strongly) their technical support staff was helpful--85 percent of Rockbridge County, 70 percent of Buena Vista, and 67 percent of Lexington teachers.
- The level of technology and Internet training among the teachers was similar among school districts, at 11-20 hours. But, those with less training used Internet/technology significantly less in the classroom.
Washington and Lee University Associate Professor Claudette Artwick supervised the Teachers, Internet, & Technology Survey. Students in her Communication Research Methods course designed the survey. It was administered online in March 2012 to all teachers in Rockbridge County, Lexington, and Buena Vista school districts. A total of 77 teachers participated, for a 20 percent completion rate. Special thanks to the school district superintendents for their assistance in distributing the email invitations to participate in the study, and to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for funding the gift card incentives for participants.