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What Belongs in a 21st-Century Classroom? Faculty and IT Staff Disagree

Faculty members and information-technology staff members alike say technology is useful for teaching and learning, but professors take a narrower view of what technology belongs in today’s classroom, according to a report released on Monday by the technology company CDW Government Inc.

Eighty-eight percent of the 303 faculty members surveyed said technology was essential or useful for student learning, and over 60 percent said they used electronic materials in their teaching, according to the report.

The most popular tools cited by professors were e-textbooks and online documents, with faculty members reporting far less enthusiasm for other electronic tools. Under a quarter of faculty members surveyed use wikis or blogs in their teaching, and only 31 percent of professors surveyed considered online collaboration tools “essential” to today’s classroom, compared with 72 percent of over 300 IT employees surveyed.

That suggests an interesting gap between technology staff members and professors when it comes to how smart classrooms need to be. How wired should teaching spaces be?

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