Educators remain cautious of the hype around ed tech, with less than a third reporting that they've changed their teaching styles or philosophies based on ed tech innovations, Education Week reports.
Other findings from a new survey conducted by the Education Week Research Center include that while another 29% do feel ed tech is transformational, the statistics indicate technology has yet to make huge differences in the typical classroom, with many tech solutions and implementations running counter to narratives portrayed around the multi-billion dollar ed tech industry.
Key factors missing in the implementation of ed tech that may be part of the problem include training and support, a willingness to experiment, and the tendency for tech to be used to adapt existing curriculum rather than develop new approaches to learning.
Educators’ lukewarm response to ed tech highlights the need for professional development on any new technology educators are expected to use. Most technology is embedded with all sorts of functions that most users never implement, for example.
That component can be especially critical — and useful — given that, after completing those training sessions, teachers can access and reference related resources for immediate application on the fly in the classroom. Among PD that should be considered are lessons on how to bring lesson plans up a notch with new tech, especially given the expanded access to real-time data in many ed tech platforms and services that can be used to personalize learning.
District must also create strategic implementation plans. If the infrastructure, available bandwidth, ongoing purchasing strategies and professional development are not planned out, ed tech purchases can quickly turn into a waste of money.
On the other hand, ed tech purchases that are driven by the educators themselves are much more likely to be used. If teachers request a device or platform, chances are high they already have ideas about how it can bring their teaching up a notch. To accommodate this trend, districts can provide streamlined approval processes, with an eye toward keeping things simple so as not to deter teachers from trying while also ensuring potential tech products are vetted for factors like usefulness and security.