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Monday, December 21, 2015

Teachers Want More Say in Ed Tech

There have been numerous reports on the growing use of technology in K-12 schools—tablets issued to students, educational software and games, online course materials, and much more—and a lot of speculation on whether it improves teaching and learning.

A new study, however, indicates that the majority of K-12 teachers say they weren’t included in decisions about educational technology at their schools, according to T.H.E. Journal. Yet, 63% of teacher respondents felt they really should lead the exploration of ed-tech platforms and applications to choose which are the best for students.

In most cases, the teachers pointed to school and district administrators and other leaders as responsible for making technology decisions, often with limited input from the teaching staff. “Forty-eight percent of respondents said they believe cost is the primary influence on ed-tech selection—much more so than student outcomes (22%) or teacher buy-in (9%),” said T.H.E. Journal.

Most teachers (62%) would prefer for someone else to do the basic research on ed-tech systems and provide a list of options to them for a final review and decision; only 26% would rather do all the legwork themselves. However, they don’t see much of a role for parents. In ranking all the stakeholders in order of importance in educational technology decision-making, 49% of teachers put parents dead last.

The survey of 4,300 teachers was conducted by TES Global, an online community for teachers, and the Jefferson Education Accelerator, which develops ed-tech solutions.

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