A survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project of teachers who instruct American middle and secondary school students finds that digital technologies have become central to their teaching and professionalization. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers, and they report striking differences in access to the latest digital technologies between lower and higher income students and school districts.

The survey finds that digital tools are widely used in classrooms and assignments, and a majority of these teachers are satisfied with the support and resources they receive from their school in this area. However, it also indicates that teachers of the lowest income students face more challenges in bringing these tools to their classrooms:

Mobile technology has become central to the learning process, with 73% of Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers saying that they and/or their students use their cell phones in the classroom or to complete assignments

More than four in ten teachers report the use of e-readers (45%) and tablet computers (43%) in their classrooms or to complete assignments

Teachers of low income students, however, are much less likely than teachers of the highest income students to use tablet computers (37% v. 56%) or e-readers (41% v. 55%) in their classrooms and assignments

Similarly, just over half (52%) of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students say their students use cell phones to look up information in class, compared with 35% of teachers of the lowest income students.

> See also this FT blog post