Nine in 10 Teachers Expect Ed Tech Needs to Grow in Next 3 Years

Most K-12 teachers said their students received less coverage of instructional material in the spring than compared to the typical school year, and most of the lessons consisted of asynchronous activities. While a majority of administrators said their districts and schools were able to provide formal professional learning opportunities on technology-based remote instruction to their educators, half as many teachers said the same.

Those results came out of an early summer survey done by the nonprofit EdTech Evidence Exchange and the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. The two organizations surveyed a national sample of 788 educators about their experiences during spring 2020 COVID-19 remote instruction and their needs moving forward. Sixty-one percent of survey participants were teachers; 25 percent were school administrators, and 14 percent were district administrators. Four in five responses (82 percent) were collected in June before the majority of schools announced their format for the fall 2020 instruction.

According to results, 58 percent of teachers said they used a less-than-normal amount of instruction content; an additional 23 percent said they didn’t cover new material at all. Just 5 percent of teachers said they’d provided more than the typical amount of instructional material.

When it came to the primary ways in which students were engaged with teaching and learning, administrators and school leaders had a different perspective than teachers. Whereas 25 percent of teachers reported that students primarily used technology for synchronous group lessons, 31 percent of administrators said the same. And while 10 percent of administrator respondents thought students were doing asynchronous lessons without tech, 13 percent of teachers said so. For both groups, 55 percent reported that students were mainly doing asynchronous studying with the use of technology.

While a quarter of teachers (27 percent) said they’d engaged in some formal professional development to learn how to do tech-based remote instruction, more than half of the administrators (52 percent) believed that to be true. While 35 percent of teachers said they received training in the collaborative structure, 60 percent of school and district leaders thought that had happened. And while 22 percent of teachers said they had no training, half as many administrators (11 percent) said the same about their teachers.

Big majorities in both groups (86 percent of teachers and 84 percent of administrators) said they expected the need for education technology to increase over the next three years. However, administrators reported a greater urgency in the need for tech than teachers; 44 percent of admins said the increase would be “significant” versus 29 percent of teachers.

Teachers offered various sources of information that they turn to in making decisions about the selection or implementation of ed-tech. The primary choices were educators in similar contexts (cited by 53 percent of teachers) and “educators I know,” mentioned by 42 percent.

A more complete version of the results is openly available on a Google drive.