Teachers involved in district edtech selection are more likely to strongly agree that their district has a sufficient range of tools, that the quality of those tools is high, and that they feel supported in the classroom to use those tools, according to a new survey administered by Clever.
As teachers have returned to the classroom this school year, nearly 90% of educators say they are continuing to use at least some of the digital tools they adopted during the pandemic. To better understand perspectives on technology use and selection, Clever conducted a survey of about 1,500 administrators and educators at the end of 2021.
Despite being generally satisfied with the selection of tools offered by their district (74% very or somewhat satisfied), nearly half of teachers (46%) say they frequently bring other digital tools into the classroom.
However, when it comes to the collaboration and involvement of teachers in choosing tools, perspectives vary. While 85% of administrators say teachers are frequently or sometimes involved, most teachers feel left out: over 60% say they’re rarely or never involved in procurement decisions, with one-third reporting their voices are never involved at all.
“We have to remember the importance of letting teachers teach,” said Erick Buenrostro, a digital resource and content specialist at Ysleta Independent School District. “They shouldn’t spend time troubleshooting or learning advanced IT specialist skills. When we include the right people in discussions about purchasing tools, the technology can become so seamless that teachers can focus on the content itself.”
Among the key findings:
- Administrators were more likely than teachers to agree that the district has high-quality tools and a wide enough array of them. 85% of administrators somewhat or strongly agreed that their district has high-quality tools, compared to 68% of teachers who said the same. Similarly, 84% of administrators somewhat or strongly agreed that their district offers a sufficient range of resources to meet teacher needs, while 70% of teachers said the same.
- Some administrators don’t realize how much time teachers spend searching for new digital resources. Over half of administrators (53%) believe teachers spend less than an hour per week looking for new resources, yet 1/4 of high school teachers spend three or more hours each week doing so. Some teachers even report spending 7 or more hours per week searching for tools.
- When it comes to finding new resources, teachers trust teachers. Nearly half (44%) of teachers said that other teachers in the district are their most trusted source for identifying new digital tools to use. This was more than double the second-place answer, school or district leadership, which was the most trusted source for just 18% of teachers.
- Teachers and administrators largely agree on the most compelling uses for technology in the classroom. For teachers, allowing students to work at their own pace was the most exciting reason for using technology, followed by supporting student engagement (e.g. through gamification). Using data from students to understand progress rounded out the top three reasons for teachers. For administrators, supporting student engagement was the most exciting reason, followed by providing new modalities for covering content (e.g. supporting students with different learning preferences). Allowing students to work at their own pace came in third, followed by using data to understand progress or mastery.
“Teachers are relying on technology more than ever, which presents an exciting opportunity to develop a more intentional feedback loop for teachers, district leaders and developers to discuss what works best,” said Dan Carroll, a former teacher and co-founder of Clever. “We know teachers trust teachers when it comes to finding new resources. Let’s save teachers time in their own search process by collaborating to curate high-quality tools.”
The survey, administered throughout November using Clever’s user database, asked about 900 teachers and 600 administrators a series of questions about their use of education technology tools and how it has changed over the past two years. More than 90% of the respondents represented public school educators, and teacher respondents skewed toward lower grades (nearly half were elementary educators).
Source: PR Newswire