ISTE 2012 NEWS: Education Sees Shift to Learn Now and Lecture Later

The traditional lecture model – with a teacher standing at the front of the classroom conveying information – is changing. Across the country, high schools and universities are exploring alternative ways to connect with students and how technology can help support this change.

According to “Learn Now, Lecture Later,” a new report released by CDW-G today, nearly half (47 percent) of teachers surveyed said they are moving beyond the lecture-only model, and 71 percent of students and 77 percent of teachers say they are using more classroom technology today than just two years ago, including laptops/netbooks, digital content and learning management systems. Other technologies are on the rise in the classroom, too, including smartphones, student response systems and blogs.

CDW-G surveyed more than 1,000 high school and college students, teachers and IT professionals to understand how different learning models, such as hands-on and group projects, independent study, virtual learning and one-on-one tutoring, are impacting high school and college classrooms. CDW-G also sought to further understand the role that technology plays in helping students and teachers maximize their time in the classroom.

When asked how the shift to different learning models is impacting the way they learn, one student noted, “I think it makes the learning real. You are able to take the concepts you learn in lectures and use them in real, hands-on situations.” Another student said, “Technology makes you ready for a real-world experience and makes school work seem more like a job.”

“Students told us they want more interaction with teachers during class, as well as the opportunity to incorporate more technology into their classes,” said Andy Lausch, vice president of higher education, CDW-G. “In fact, students who are very satisfied with how their teachers use class time, also use more technology in class with all types of learning models.”

Shifting away from the lecture-only model may make sense for many educators, but 88 percent reported challenges to making the shift. “Lack of budget continues to be the top roadblock for both high schools and higher education institutions,” said Julie Smith, vice president of K-12 education, CDW-G. “But more importantly, the other challenges differ depending on who you ask. Teachers and IT professionals have very different ideas of how to make the move easier – ranging from access to technology and lack of professional development to class size and lack of time. We need to ensure that educators and IT are talking to one another.”

Despite the challenges, students and teachers are open to moving away from lecture only, with requests coming in many forms. CDW-G’s Learn Now, Lecture Later identified requests for:

Ø More help: Seventy-six percent of IT professionals report increased teacher requests for help with technology integration and related professional development

Ø More tech: High school and higher education teachers both want laptops, netbooks, tablets and digital content to help them move away from the traditional lecture model

Ø More IT: IT professionals noted that in order to support a change in instruction, their institutions need to add or improve servers/storage, wireless infrastructure and cloud computing

For more information about Learn Now, Lecture Later and to download the full report, visit: