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Confessional survey: This is how teachers really feel about the state of education

A new survey reveals positive trends, but teachers report lingering roadblocks to edtech use.

More than half of educators in a recent survey (65 percent) said they feel confident about their ability to effectively use ed-tech resources in the classroom–a 7 percent increase from 2016.

Nearly all surveyed educators (98 percent) said they use some form of digital content, but they also agreed that roadblocks do prevent them from using technology to its full classroom potential.

Among the largest barriers to effective education technology integration are lack of time to plan for implementation of digital resources into instruction (46 percent), a shortage of devices in the classroom (40 percent), and lack of access to technology-focused professional development (48 percent).

The 2017 Educator Confidence Report: Setting the Stage for the Digital Age, commissioned by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and conducted by research firm MDR, was designed to give educators a forum to identify opportunities for improved educational outcomes as well as the challenges they face to that end.

(Next page:  Do teachers feel more positive about the state of education today?)

Fifty-three percent said they feel more positive about the state of the teaching profession today–an increase of 11 percentage points from the 2016 survey.

Professional development and meaningful, collaborative relationships with colleagues are crucial to success, according to the report. Sixty-three percent of educators report that colleagues are the number one resource they turn to when it comes to learning about educational technology implementation.

About half (47 percent ) of educators said they rely on formal professional development from their school district, while close to two-thirds (63 percent) of educators report using their own money to engage in professional development opportunities. In addition, educators indicate they could use additional resources to help them more effectively implement educational technology.

Educators also reported wanting greater family involvement–more engagement from parents (52 percent) was the number one thing educators wanted more of in the classroom. This was followed closely by more time to collaborate with colleagues (49 percent).

Confidence in the state of education varies among job type. Fifty-three percent of educators report having a positive outlook on the overall state of education, compared to 42 percent in 2016. Administrators, at both the school and district level, have a more positive outlook (72 percent) than classroom teachers (47 percent).

“All students deserve a great education, one that affords every opportunity for them to grow into knowledgeable, caring and successful adults,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Research Officer at HMH. “In education, evidence and information speak volumes and have the potential to transform learning into a personalized experience that meets the needs of all students at every age and stage. It is critical that we hear and listen to educator voices and use data to guide education policy, instruction, improve student outcomes and support teachers.”

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Laura Ascione

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