06 Nov 2013
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Tech-savvy teachers transform lessons

By Rebecca Wood

Today’s students are reaping the benefits of technology in the classroom, thanks to confident and tech-savvy teachers, according to new research conducted by Cambridge International Examinations. 

A survey of more than 500 Cambridge teachers worldwide, including 12 New Zealand teachers, reveals that the majority of schools have written an IT strategy and are using a range of innovative solutions in the classroom.

Many teachers are starting to employ the newest technology to transform their lessons, with over a third of teachers using the latest smartphones and tablets in the classes, and the same number using apps or social networks in the classroom for educational purposes.

While more traditional technology such as TV, radio and CD players are falling out of favour, over 80% of teachers now use laptops in the classroom to support their teaching.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is also on the rise in schools, with over 60% of teachers confirming their students are allowed to bring their own devices for use in the classroom.

Looking to the future, the survey reveals that the majority of teachers believe in the ability of technology to cross borders and time zones. 80% of teachers asked would like to see technology used to link classrooms around the world to share information and best practice, while two-thirds would like to see interactive lessons delivered online by the brightest minds in their field.

In addition, one in three respondents felt that in 10 years’ time, students would be learning in virtual classrooms, making the physical classroom all but obsolete.

Michael O’Sullivan, chief executive of Cambridge International Examinations, says technologically the world is changing at a phenomenal pace.

“I’m delighted that our survey results show how positively teachers around the world are responding to these changes. It signals a global understanding amongst teachers about the need to equip students with the skills they need to use technology effectively,” he says.

“These skills are not just for the classroom. They are skills for life and essential for young people in the modern world.”

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