While many stakeholders are involved in developing policies on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 education, new research suggests that teachers are the most important group driving adoption. This is a finding of a recent commissioned by Lightspeed Systems and Thinkronize Inc.

There is a persistent gap between how today’s “digital” kids learn in school and how they work and interact outside of school, a trend that underscores the critical need for districts to keep pace with technological advances and adapt to students’ learning needs.

The research indicates that the movement toward Web 2.0 use to engage students and address individual learning needs is largely being driven in districts from the bottom up – starting with teachers and students,” said Dr. Jay Sivin-Kachala, vice president and lead researcher for IESD. “Furthermore, the results show that many districts are using or planning to use Web 2.0 tools in teacher professional development, which suggests that teachers will become increasingly comfortable with these technologies and better able to teach students how to use them safely and productively.”

Other key results of the survey include:

* The three most frequently cited reasons for adopting Web 2.0 technologies are: addressing students’ individual learning needs, engaging student interest, and increasing students’ options for access to teaching and learning.

* Online communications with parents and students (e.g., teacher blogs) and digital multimedia resources are the Internet technologies most widely used by teachers, and a majority of districts have plans for adopting these technologies or promoting their use.

These results reinforce what we have found with TEL.A.VISION. Teachers find that TEL.A.VISION is a technology that addresses student’s individual learning needs, engages student interest and teaches them about digital multimedia resources.

The full survey is available here.