Teachers Want a Say in the Ed-Tech Adoption Process

Educators involved in ed-tech adoption decisions are most likely to strongly agree their school districts have “a sufficient range of tools” to support classroom instruction and learning, according to a recent report from the digital learning company Clever.

According to a news release from Clever, the survey study included 1,500 respondents, made up of teachers and upper-level administrators, to gauge their perspectives about who they think has the most say in digital learning decision-making as schools adopt a plethora of new ed-tech tools during the pandemic.

It noted that nearly 90 percent of teachers have plans to continue using some of the digital tools they’ve adopted for online and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 75 percent of respondents claimed to be “very or somewhat satisfied” with platforms they’ve picked themselves.

However, the study added that while 85 percent of administrators claimed teachers are “frequently” or “sometimes involved” in the adoption process, most instructors said they felt left out of major procurement decisions, with one-third saying they’re “never involved.”

“We have to remember the importance of letting teachers teach,” Erick Buenrostro, a digital resource and content specialist at Ysleta Independent School District, said in a statement. “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 other findings, the study said 85 percent of administrators “somewhat or strongly agreed” that their district had enough high-quality ed-tech tools, compared to just 68 percent of teachers. More than 80 percent of administrators agreed that their district offers a sufficient range of resources to meet teacher needs, with 70 percent of teachers agreeing on that point.

In addition, the report added, about 44 percent of instructors relied on other teachers as trusted sources of recommendations about which tools to use — more than double the figure who trusted recommendations made by school- and district-level leadership staff.

“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.”