Teachers want more technology in their classrooms — and fast.
A new study from DonorsChoose.com, a nonprofit organization that lets teachers request items for their classes so donors can fulfill their requests, found thatteachers rank technology as the most important expenditure for schools, followed by school supplies and books.
In recent years, DonorsChoose says, teachers’ requests for tablets have increased dramatically on the site — and educators say they’re the piece of technology they need the most.
However, not all teachers request technology products to the same degree. Those who work in schools with more affluent students are more likely to request help with bringing technology to their students. Teachers who work in lower-income schools are more desperate for basic school supplies.
After books, tablets are the next most-requested item in low-poverty school districts, while paper and “paper crafts” are the next most-requested item in high-poverty schools.
The disparity in student access to technology could have dire consequences, contributing to the achievement gap and widening digital divide between rich and poor students.
Overall, only about 6 percent of teachers have a tablet for every student, and only about 5 percent have a desktop computer for every student. Forty-five percent of teachers say their school is outfitted with technology that is too outdated to be helpful, the report found.