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A new report offers a look at how edtech tools and goals are prioritized by teachers and administrators.

5 takeaways about the state of edtech today


A new report offers a look at how edtech tools and goals are prioritized by teachers and administrators

Using the right edtech tools, combined with knowledgeable and confident teaching, can help accelerate student learning, according to Promethean’s 2019 U.S. State of Technology report.

The report surveyed educators to offer a comprehensive views of current classroom technologies, adoption, usage, and trends over the next five years.

Eighty-six percent of teachers and 82 percent of administrators agree that edtech tools improve achievement, according to the report, which analyzes edtech trends and usage.

Related content: Here’s how edtech expands learning

Eighty-three percent of surveyed administrators and 74 percent of surveyed teachers say they are “constantly striving to innovate by using technology as a tool for education.”

Administrators’ edtech priorities include using technology to boost engagement (61 percent), using technology to enhance collaboration (46 percent), using edtech to boost teacher productivity (29 percent), and ensuring student and other important data is protected online (26 percent).

While almost all respondents understand edtech’s benefits, the data indicates legacy infrastructure, organizational inertia, and competing priorities continue to act as barriers to adoption.

“There are a lot of expectations from districts in terms of technology integration but not the financial or infrastructure support to effectively integrate technology in meaningful ways,” according to an IT administrator quoted in the report.

Despite educators’ edtech integration goals, edtech tools are often underused due to high workloads, shifting standards, and tight budgets–46 percent of teachers say they believe the workload in their school or district is unmanageable, while 36 percent believe the workload is high but is being addressed.

Thirty-one percent of teachers and administrators say they believe a lack of appropriate or working technology “always or often” prevents them from successful classroom edtech integration. Forty-eight percent of teachers and 39 percent of administrators say edtech resources are available at their school, but they’re not trained or provided with learning materials. Fifty-eight percent of teachers say they need collaborative planning time with peers in order to more effectively implement new teaching and learning innovations in the classroom.

Key points and trends in the survey include:
• Teachers are ready to use edtech in the classroom, with more than 70 percent indicating they know more about technology than their students.
• More than half of those surveyed believe online content and resources will see the greatest classroom growth in the next five years.
• Most administrators surveyed indicate they evaluate edtech success by level of student engagement, teacher feedback, and overall results.
• Reducing the student achievement gap is a top priority for administrators and teachers alike (57 percent versus 54 percent).

Teachers are significantly more likely than administrators to say online assessments, interactive technology, and tablets will have the most growth in five years.

Meanwhile, administrators predict the growth in tech not normally found in all classrooms, such as coding, virtual reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.

The report also offers five conclusions that educators can use to inform their edtech integration and priorities:

1. Educational professionals do not need to be sold on edtech’s advantages; however, legacy infrastructure, organizational inertia, and competing priorities continue to be barriers to the optimization of educational technology in the classroom.

2. Heavy teacher workloads and lack of collaborative time and training will continue to slow adoption of edtech tools. These soft costs and hidden tradeoffs often mask the challenges with deploying and optimizing technology in the classroom.

3. Teachers and administrators see enormous benefits from technology in daily school life, from greater engagement and collaboration to better student outcomes — which are key to additional funding and budget to deliver on strategic priorities for school districts.

4. Regarding edtech budgets, teachers’ voices need to be heard and they need a bigger seat at the budget and policy table. Most feel uninvolved despite being closest to student life and outcomes.

5. Tomorrow’s edtech trends are already here today, but not broadly used or accessible. Educators predict massive growth in cloud and virtual learning solutions, VR, mobile and 3D printing — all driven by the fact that these solutions best combine traditional learning with advances in technology.

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Laura Ascione

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