Sixty-three percent of K-12 educators use edtech in their classrooms each day–an increase from the 55 percent reporting the same in 2016, according to an annual survey from the College of Education at the University of Phoenix.

Laptops are most commonly used (86 percent), while other technologies include educational apps (58 percent), 3D printers (21 percent), and social media (41 percent, up from 32 percent in 2016).

Seventy-one percent of teachers said they allow students to research subjects via the internet; 66 percent use games and simulations to help with learning; 49 percent use web-based tools to help students improve writing and comprehension skills; 37 percent let students use video to produce their own content; and 20 percent use clickers to keep students engaged.

Interestingly, 63 percent of the more than 1,000 surveyed teachers also said edtech helps to create a more interactive learning experience, while 25 percent said they still feel intimidated by students’ knowledge and use of technology.

(Next page: Experts analyze what survey results mean for classroom edtech use)

Seventy-one percent of surveyed teachers said they feel personal technology devices make it more difficult for students to pay attention in group settings, up from 65 percent in last year’s survey.

“New technology can serve as a useful resource for educators and students alike, which is why so many teachers have come to embrace it. That said, this data suggests that many teachers are introducing edtech cautiously,” said Pamela Roggeman, Ed.D., academic dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix. “In some cases, they are unfamiliar with certain resources, but more often, they worry that personal devices will become an unwelcome distraction.”

Sixteen percent of teachers grade themselves an “A” when it comes to edtech skills, and 40 percent would grade themselves a “C” or failing.

Funding is the most-cited (35 percent ) reason for not using edtech more in the classroom, and concern that technology will distract students is the second most-cited reason (23 percent) for not using edtech more in the classroom.

When it comes to social media:

  • 47 percent of K-12 teachers report that participation in social media with their teachers can enhance student’s educational experience
  • Only 23 percent encourage their students to connect with them on social media
  • About one in three K-12 teachers use social media both personally and professionally
  • 83 percent of teachers worry about conflicts resulting from social media interaction with students and parents
  • 76 percent of teachers worry that parents sometimes use social media to monitor their work and/or personal lives
  • 35 percent of teachers have experienced issues with students and/or parents connecting with them via social media

Sixty-two percent of teachers said they assign less than three hours of homework per week. Even among high school teachers, who assign the most homework, more than half (53 percent) still assign less than three hours.

Further, 27 percent of K-12 teachers assign either less than one hour of homework each week or no homework at all.

“This data challenges the notion that American teachers are continuing a reliance on outside schoolwork,” Roggeman said. “In reality, many educators are embracing new models of learning in lieu of traditional homework assignments. Teachers are opting for work outside of class that provide students with different experiences rather than just more ‘drill and skill’ practice.”

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura