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Data Underscores Ed Tech's Importance and Shift to Distance Learning

As reported in AV Technology in 2012, nationwide data underscores the increasing prominence of technology in the classroom. Some interesting K-12 numbers come from a national survey conducted by PBS Learning Media (—a free interactive teaching resource site for K-12 teachers.

According to PBS, 91 percent of teachers surveyed have computers in their classroom, but only 21 percent believe that they have the right technology. This suggests that educational professionals are aware that there is more tech to explore, and, if given the chance, they might try it out. Three-fourths of the teachers surveyed said that they want more technology in their classrooms, as well.

PBS also discovered that 93 percent of teachers believe that interactive whiteboards enrich classroom instruction, followed by 81 percent who said the same about tablet PCs. 77 percent said that classroom technology increase their students’ motivation to learn, while 63 percent of teachers surveyed blamed tight budgets for blocking their access to classroom technology.

That’s the K-12 snapshot. In colleges, smart classrooms are becoming the rule, not the exception. So too are innovative, free collaboration products such as Google Apps for Education. According to U.S. News and World Report, 66 of the top 100 U.S. universities are on Apps. Meanwhile, more than 16 million students, faculty, and staff worldwide are using Google's Apps for Education.

Additionally, distance learning interest is skyrocketing. Distance learning is 46 percent of the $913 billion dollar U.S. Education and Training Market, according to the United States Distance Learning Association ( 55 percent of public school districts reported having students enrolled in distance education courses. Among those districts, 96 percent reported having students enrolled in distance education courses at the high school level, and 19 percent at the middle or junior high school level. These figures come from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education.