Burnaby – Best Buy Canada has released its Report Card on Technology in Canada’s classrooms. The report card found that two-thirds of Canadian teachers surveyed believe students are being handicapped for the future by not giving them access to the latest technology. The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing between July 6 and July 19 2009, involved an online survey among 674 respondents randomly selected Canadian adults who are Leger Marketing panelists. The interviews were completed with Canadian teachers from primary to college and university level. This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin of error of +/-3.8%, 19 times out of 20.
Best Buy Canada will contribute $300,000 in technology grants to schools in Canada through its Best in Class Fund program in 2009. The survey found that nearly all respondents believe that it is important for students to have the latest technology in order to thrive and succeed in today’s world, which underscores the importance of the Best in Class program.
The Best Buy Canada Report Card on Technology in Canada’s Classrooms, a national survey of 674 Canadian teachers, conducted by Leger Marketing, showed that:
– One-third of teachers surveyed indicated that schools lag behind in providing the best access to new technology to students
– More than half of the respondents (61%) believe that students have the best access to the latest technology at home
– Nearly three-quarters of teachers (74%) agree that having the latest technology in the classroom would foster creativity
– More than half of Canadian teachers use technology as part of their daily curriculum
– Despite the perceived importance of technology in the classroom, as many as one in five Canadian teachers report that they infrequently use technology in their classroom
More interestingly, teachers agree that there are learning benefits for students to having technology in the classroom. More than 80% of respondents agreed that having the latest technology in the classroom would make students more interested in learning at school. Moreover, 87% of respondents agreed that having the latest technology in the classroom would create more engaging lessons for students.
According to the survey, nearly all teachers agree that having the latest technology in the classroom would bridge the divide between students who have technology at home and those who do not. Identifying communities and schools who lack access to technology is the first step to the success of the Best in Class Fund.
The Best in Class program invites students and teachers to develop proposals on why they want to integrate technology into the classroom and how it will help further learning. The top 15 submissions will each receive $20,000 technology funding grants so that the students can see their proposals come to life and how their schools can benefit from access to new technologies in the classroom. In addition, the most compelling proposal this year will be awarded an additional $10,000 in the latest HP technology for its school.
In 2009, Best Buy will contribute 1.35% of its profit to charitable organizations that are focused on youth in Canada. The Best in Class program is open to grades 7 – 12 in middle schools and high schools. Schools in BC, AB, MB, SK, ON, and NS are eligible to apply. One submission is allowed per school and must be submitted electronically between Thursday, September 10 and Friday, October 16, 2009.
The Best in Class Fund established a Technology Advisory Board to help shape the programs it supports and to help judge proposals from schools. Members include: new media journalist and strategist Amber Mac, educational technology teacher Julia Leong, and tech journalist, futurist and computer literacy advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Andy Walker.