73% of Teachers Use Cellphones for Classroom Activities

More middle- and secondary-school teachers are using digital tools in their classrooms and professional lives, a new report says. A study by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project released Thursday delves into teachers’ increasing technology use, but also expresses educators’ concerns about the digital divide.

The study surveyed Advance Placement and National Writing Project teachers across the United States, and 92% say the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources and materials for teaching. Teachers are becoming advanced tech users, according to Kristen Purcell, Pew’s associate director for research.

“The findings bode well for people who really want to see these tools become a part of the educational sphere,” Purcell tells Mashable.

Use of mobile technology dominates the learning process, the study finds. Seventy-three percent of teachers say that they or their students use cellphones in the classroom or to complete assignments. Nearly half of respondents use e-readers and tablets for teaching.

Not only are educators using devices in the classroom, but they outpace typical online adults when it comes to personal tech use. Fifty-eight percent of teachers surveyed have a smartphone, compared to 48% of all American adults, and they’re more likely to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are differences, however, across subjects. English teachers will use these networks more than their math-teaching colleagues.

Teachers as professionals are always in the position of sharing, which accounts for their higher use of new technology, according to Linda Burch, co-founder at Common Sense Media.

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