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A new survey reveals that more teachers want a say in which products are purchased for their classrooms

More teachers want to play an increased role in ed-tech decision-making, according to a survey of more than 4,300 teachers by TES Global in partnership with the Jefferson Education Accelerator.

In fact, the majority of surveyed teachers (63 percent) said they believe they should be the primary decision-makers when it comes to technology in their classrooms.

But despite that majority, only 38 percent of those surveyed said they are consulted during the ed-tech decision-making process, citing a feeling that teacher buy-in does not play a major role in such purchasing decisions.

Almost half of responding teachers said ed-tech purchasing decisions are left to school, district, or regional leadership.

“Nobody is better situated than classroom teachers when it comes to observing which education technologies are driving meaningful improvements to student learning outcomes,” says Bob Pianta, Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and Chairman of the Jefferson Education Accelerator. “Decisions about which ed-tech products and services should be in our classrooms should be heavily influenced by teachers who have access to evidence of their impact.”

Forty-eight percent of respondents believe that cost is the number one influence on ed-tech selection, more so than student outcomes (22 percent) and teacher buy-in (9 percent).

Just 12 percent of respondents say school-based technology experts currently make decisions, but 33 percent of respondents say they should play an important role (second only to teachers).

Forty-nine percent of those surveyed say parents should play the smallest decision-making role, with district leadership not far behind (24 percent).

Most responding teachers said they learn about new technology by researching it on their own or by relying on their teacher peers in the same school or district (38 and 37 percent respectively).

Sixty percent of those surveyed said teachers are the best creators of classroom materials, while only 6 percent believe publishers should be the lead creators.

Forty-eight percent of teachers surveyed care most about identifying what products to pilot or roll out.

Nearly half of surveyed teachers (45 percent) said their teacher training programs failed to make them feel very or somewhat prepared for evaluating and using technology in the classroom.

“Teachers are closest to the needs and behaviors of students, so it’s not surprising they want to have a seat at the table,” says Rob Grimshaw, CEO of TES Global. “Education tech companies, school leadership, and district officials must find more ways to let teachers voice their opinions, so that only the best and most effective technology makes it to the classroom.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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