Aspiring Teachers Increasingly Prepare for Their Future Jobs Online Survey Shows Teacher Candidates Want More Technology in Training Programs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Future teachers want more digital, mobile and social technology integrated into their training and, in turn, their future classrooms, according to a survey report released today from Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow®. According to the report, nearly 50 percent of students in teacher training programs use online podcasts and videos and turn to social networking sites to self-train for future teaching assignments.

The tendency for tomorrow's teachers to leverage technology is a direct result of their own experience as "active learners" – students who expect technology to extend teaching and learning. The report finds that over half of the aspiring teachers polled (58 percent) are taking online classes and nearly the same amount (52 percent) use digital textbooks as a part of their education experience. 

The findings, intended to inform preparation and professional development programs for new teachers, also reveal that today's principals have high expectations for the use of technology in classrooms. Over 80 percent of principals polled want their future hires to use digital tools to connect and communicate with students and their parents.

"Due to increased access to digital learning tools throughout their lives, aspiring teachers gravitate toward online collaboration, which translates to a more self-directed teaching approach," said Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow. "The correlation between an educator's familiarity with technology, and the strong likelihood of using that technology within instruction, is a good way to predict the future classroom."

The survey also found that over 40 percent of students in teacher training programs sought career guidance online from educators outside of their institution, demonstrating the important role that access to and fluency in technology tools can play in their future success.

"In order to be effective in the classroom and create an engaging learning environment, a great teacher needs to realize that children today are exposed to a vast amount of technology outside of the classroom, and when they walk into a classroom, they are walking back in time," said an aspiring elementary school teacher from Purdue University that participated in the survey.

The findings are included in the report Learning in the 21st Century: Digital Experiences and Expectations of Tomorrow's Teachers, prepared by Blackboard Inc. and Project Tomorrow, which includes findings from the Speak Up for Aspiring Teachers survey of nearly 1,400 college students in teacher preparation programs during spring 2012. The data collected from the aspiring teachers was compared with the results of the surveys completed by 36,477 in-service K-12 teachers and 4,133 administrators during Speak Up surveys from fall 2011.

Follow @BlackboardK12 and @ProjectTomorrow on Twitter for updates.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/K12

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Project Tomorrow
Project Tomorrow® is the nation's leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of students voices in education. With 16 years of experience in the K-12 education sector, Project Tomorrow®  regularly provides consulting and research support about key trends in K-12 science, math and technology education to school districts, government agencies, business and higher education.  The Speak Up National Research Project annually polls K-12 students, parents and educators about the role of technology for learning in and out of school and represents the represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder voice on digital learning.  Since 2003, over 2.6 million K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians, principals, technology leaders and district administrators have shared their views and ideas through Speak Up.  For additional information, visit us at www.tomorrow.org.  We can also be found at: twitter.com/SpeakUpEd or Facebook.com/speakuped 

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

CONTACT
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637 or matthew.maurer@blackboard.com

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.; Project Tomorrow



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