Digital technologies and cloud-based services are often used in various industries and occupations, so the assumption is that today’s generations of students will use cloud-based services very often in their workplace. Therefore, Kids in Clouds project aims to introduce students with cloud computing at the beginning of education process in order to naturally adopt this way of learning and working and to easily adopt it.
As part of the Kids in Clouds Erasmus+ project, Algebra and project partners – French, Bulgarian and Croatian schools aim to encourage teachers to use cloud-based tools, but also to make it easier for teachers to start using these tools more often.
In order to gain insight in the frequency of using digital technology and cloud-based tools in schools, project partners conducted a research as the first phase of the project (Intellectual Output 1 – Gap analysis: the use of cloud-based services in schools today vs. the possibilities of the technology in general). In this purpose, online survey was conducted and 373 teachers from project partners’ countries filled in the prepared questionnaire. Questionnaire responses provided partners with an insight into the current state of frequency and ways of using digital technology and cloud-based tools in schools.
Most of the teachers who filled in the questionnaire stated that in classrooms where they teach computer or laptop, projector and speakers are available to them. On the contrary, most of the respondents stated that computers, laptops or tablets are not available to students in the classrooms where they teach. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of the teachers pointed out that they use digital tools in a way that they display their computer screen to students using a projector, and students very rarely use digital tools independently on their own devices.
It is extremely positive that more than 60 % of the teachers who participated in the questionnaire pointed out that they use digital technology very often. Moreover, almost third of respondents stated that they use digital technology in about 80 % of their lessons. The latter shows that teachers are well aware of the benefits of using digital technology and tools.
However, almost 57 % of the teachers who filled in the questionnaire pointed out that they prepare longer for a lesson during which they plan to use digital tools. This shows that there is a great need to empower teachers for creating their own digital materials using cloud-based tools and to provide teachers with educations and information on how to quickly, easily and efficiently do it.
This is confirmed by the fact that more than half of the respondents stated that they are very inclined to explore digital tools that they could use in teaching, and almost 42 % of the respondents finds educational courses about using digital technology in teaching very useful. Most of the teachers who participated in the survey prefers webinars as one of the possible forms of conducting educations.
Furthermore, almost 80 % of the teachers who participated in the survey prefer using free digital tools that do not require paying a license. Finally, at the end of the questionnaire teachers could find a list of about 80 available digital tools – teachers marked the extent to which they use listed digital tools and we hope that teachers would use this list as a useful source of available digital tools for using in teaching.
Project partners analyzed the results of the questionnaire in detail in order to prepare next phases of the project more successfully and efficiently. Next phases of the project include creating educational materials for teachers and students about using cloud-based tools as well as conducting a pilot process of using created materials for teachers and students. Educational materials for teachers will contain strategies and recommendations on how to teach particular subject using certain cloud-based tool. In addition, an online repository of educational materials for students will be created enabling students to use cloud-based tools more efficiently.
Project partners will bear in mind the conclusions based on questionnaire results, especially about equipment available in the classrooms and teachers’ interest in educations and webinars on using digital tools in cloud.
Special thanks goes to all the teachers who participated in the survey by filling in the questionnaire and provided us with important information about frequency of using cloud-based tools in schools and teachers’ perception of it!