Comparative Analysis of National Teacher Surveys

Comparative Analysis of Teacher SurveysAs technologies gain an increasingly strong foothold in the classroom, there are more and more surveys seeking to gauge teachers’ interests and attitudes towards integrating devices, software, and tools into their practice. We’ve noticed that while each of the major surveys that have been announced over the past year and a half offer a unique take on what’s going on in classrooms across the United States, there is also a bit of overlap among these studies as well.

This QuickReport compares five high-profile surveys of teachers and technology, all released between January 2012 and February 2013. By stitching together findings from across these complementary studies, we gain a more comprehensive view of how teacher practices and attitudes are evolving with respect to technology integration, and a firmer sense of what teachers nationwide need to provide instruction that is relevant, engaging, and effective for all students. These comparisons have also revealed gaps that future survey research should aim to fill.

For this analysis we only reviewed national surveys that polled K-12 classroom teachers on their practices around and attitudes toward technology. We did not include surveys that only inventory classroom technologies and broadband access (such as those regularly conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics), focusing instead on surveys that inquired about technology practices and attitudes as well as classroom technology inventories. Based on these criteria, our report features:

  • PBS LearningMedia’s Teacher Technology Usage Survey (January 2012)
  • The Gates Foundation’s Technology and Effective Teaching in the U.S. (February 2012)
  • The Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s National Survey of Teacher Attitudes & Beliefs on Digital Games & Learning (May 2012)
  • Common Sense Media’s Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media (Fall 2012)
  • Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project Online Survey of Teachers (February 2013)

This report analyzes the survey’s goals, dates, and respondent demographics and topline findings of each survey. We then looked across all surveys’ toplines for common themes and sub-themes, and subsequently reorganized the findings according to these emergent categories. The Cross-Survey Synthesis—the only section of the report that offers the Cooney Center’s original perspectives on this exercise—highlights areas of inquiry that we believe deserve deeper investigation.