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Here’s why we absolutely need ed-tech

Teachers, admins acknowledge ed-tech’s crucial role

ed-tech-learningEd-tech remains critical to K-12 education, especially when it comes to student success and engagement. A survey of public school teachers and administrators sheds light on why and how ed-tech implementation isn’t reaching its full potential.

Ed-tech increases student engagement in learning, and 96 percent of surveyed teachers agree with this. When students are engaged in their learning, they learn more naturally and willingly, meaning that lessons have a real impact.

Ninety-five percent of teachers said ed-tech enables personalized learning, and numerous studies show that not only is personalization the best way to approach teaching and learning, but it’s what students ask for time and time again.

(Next page: More ed-tech imperatives)

Teachers also agree that ed-tech improves student outcomes (89 percent), said ed-tech helps students collaborate (87 percent), and think it is an important or essential part of the classroom.

Despite educator support for ed-tech, there still exists a disconnect between ideal ed-tech classroom use and its reality.

Each week, 31 percent of teachers use information or reference tools in the classroom, 24 percent use teacher tools, 19 percent use content-specific content tools, and just 14 percent use digital curricula.

One-to-one initiatives aren’t new, but they aren’t penetrating districts and classrooms in high numbers. Only 11 percent of teachers and administrators said they are implementing a one-to-one or BYOD program.

Of those implementing one-to-one or BYOD programs, 37 percent use information or reference tools weekly, 20 percent use digital curricula weekly, 18 percent use teacher tools weekly, and 15 percent use subject-specific content tools weekly.

These low numbers aside, 92 percent of teachers said they want to use more ed-tech than they currently do, but cited three major and all-too-familiar obstacles: money, access, and time.

Seventy-five percent of administrators and 66 percent of teachers said lack of funding is one of their biggest obstacles to more ed-tech integration.

Poor and insufficient technology infrastructure was cited by 45 percent of administrators and 53 percent of teachers, and 45 percent of teachers and 38 percent of administrators said they don’t have time to implement ed-tech tools properly.

Finding resources to support and use with ed-tech tools and initiatives remains a challenge as well, with 77 percent of teachers saying it is, at the very least, somewhat difficult to find hihg-quality, reliable ed-tech for instruction, student learning, or classroom management. Thirty-two percent of teachers spend an hour or more per week searching for ed-tech.

(Next page: The full ed-tech infographic)

When evaluating ed-tech resources for their quality, teachers and administrators share some of the same priorities, but differ in other areas. Some criteria include:

  • Learning potential for students (56 percent of teachers; 57 percent of administrators)
  • Fun and engaging for students (44 percent of teachers; 30 percent of administrators)
  • Aligns to academic standards (41 percent of teachers; 65 percent of administrators)
  • Helps teachers teach (32 percent of teachers; 33 percent of administrators)
  • Free (45 percent of teachers; 25 percent of administrators)
  • Overall high quality (29 percent of teachers; 37 percent of administrators)

The survey included 762 preK-12 public school teachers and 205 public school administrators. Results were originally released in May 2013, and the need for ed-tech remains just as relevant today.

The full infographic is below:


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Laura Ascione

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