- An AdvancED study of 140,000 K-12 classrooms in 39 states and 11 countries finds few classrooms actually embed technology use into the regular fabric of the student experience.
- eSchool News reports more than half of classrooms studied showed no evidence of technology use to gather, evaluate, or use information for learning, and about two-thirds showed no evidence of technology use for research, problem-solving, creation of original work, communication or collaboration.
- Perhaps most surprising is that so few classrooms use technology for the communication and collaboration piece, given how often students use technology, personally, for the same.
Just as it is hard to assess teacher quality with limited time for classroom observations, it is difficult to determine how teachers use technology with 20-minute observation windows, as the AdvancED study did.
Researchers tuned into classrooms for observations at the beginning, middle, and end of class, and they tried to use random sampling to get a more objective sense of how students were using technology. Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that active tech use is relatively rare, especially in low-income districts.
The Obama administration has called this the digital use divide and encouraged districts to shift their focus from simply access to educational technology to high-quality use of it. Educational experts have also encouraged teachers to develop strategies for true engagement before trying to add technology to lesson plans.