Teachers give low marks on schools' ed tech use
- Only 13% of teachers were willing to give their school an "A" rating when asked whether the available technology at the school would be able to enhance students’ learning experience, and educators found cost to be one of the top hindrances to getting better tech in the classroom, according to a new study by Walker Sands Communication.
- Education professionals were interested in a wide variety of tech, with 89% expressing interest in integrating virtual reality or augmented reality into the classroom, and teachers believe that the strengths surrounding the use of tech outweigh whatever reservations they may have.
- About 31% of teachers expect their out-of-pocket classroom costs to rise in order to incorporate new tech into the classroom. Administrators are the most likely individuals to be making decisions for a school on new tech, followed by a school’s head of IT or an education tech professional.
As more developers enter the ed tech market, it could drive prices down as companies compete to gain the business of school districts. But more must be done by administratorsto ensure they are making the right choice for their classrooms. It is not surprising that administrators are more likely to make tech decisions than school heads of IT or ed tech professionals, as funding cuts mean those positions are dwindling. But as EdSurge noted in a recent piece, that the plethora of options available to administrators complicate the buying process. And many administrators rely heavily on vendors to dictate school needs, rather than going in with a clear picture of what they want and looking for tech which meets those specifications.
But there are also emergent solutions, including websites helping administrators compare prices on comparable education technology. Whatever the solution, administrators must also ensure there is follow-through on the part of educating the faculty in the usage of any new tech. To better understand their options, administrators could consider partnering with third-party non-profit agencies like LEAP Innovations in Chicago and LearnLaunch in Boston, who worked with school administrators in their respective areas to better inform school leaders on tech options. Additionally, a gradual, smart integration of new tech into classrooms will lessen the possibility that teachers will have high out-of-pocket costs once it is instituted.