Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Special Report
Executive Skills & Strategy

What Educators Really Think

By Kevin Bushweller — April 23, 2019 1 min read

One of the things Education Week really enjoys doing at educational-technology conferences is holding special briefings for readers on hot topics in the K-12 world. It’s an opportunity for us to share what we’ve learned over the past year and hear readers’ hopes and frustrations up close and personal.

Those sessions also help us better understand the questions educators are struggling to answer, such as: With all the infusion of digital tools into K-12 schools, why is technology not leading to meaningful innovation in the way teachers teach?

At the SXSWedu conference in Austin this March, I presented a talk on that topic that drew hundreds of educators, ed-tech company executives, and others. At the ASU+GSV education industry summit in San Diego this month, our special briefings with the same focus attracted standing-room-only crowds and triggered some of the most lively Q&A discussions I have ever moderated.

The fact that the topic generates so much engagement shows how hungry people are for insights and information that cut through the hype around the digital revolution. Technology Counts 2019 is designed to feed that hunger, with a nationally representative survey of 700 teachers that essentially shows that, despite the hype, or maybe even because of it, there’s considerable skepticism in the field around the idea that ed-tech innovations will dramatically improve teaching and learning.

The Education Week Research Center survey reveals that the technology ecosystem many teachers experience is one characterized by incremental, rather than transformational, changes. Fewer than 3 in 10 teachers say the classroom technology they have provides “a lot” of support for innovation.

Beyond that, we found plenty of signs that the technologies currently in classrooms are having very little, if any, influence in changing teachers’ practices or beliefs about what teaching and learning should look like in the digital age. They continue to simply layer new technologies on top of their current teaching practices—not exactly innovation at its best.

One big problem appears to be support. Teachers need much better ed-tech training and encouragement to experiment. Until that happens, innovation will remain more idea hype than classroom reality.

—Kevin Bushweller
Executive Project Editor

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 2019 edition of Education Week as What Educators Really Think

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Executive Skills & Strategy 'Genius Hour' Lets Kids Take Charge: Would Einstein Have Liked This?
Teachers open doors for students to fuel their curiosity and pursue passion projects, but educators warn against making it a free-for-all.
10 min read
Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Maddie McGarvey
Executive Skills & Strategy K12 Inc., Ga. Cyber Academy Contract Battle Brews
Students locked out of their school's computer systems. Educators unable to get access to some students' records. Parents receiving emails asking that they return their children's laptops.
6 min read
Executive Skills & Strategy Report Roundup Teaching
Forty percent of what elementary school teachers do on a typical workday could be automated by 2030, predicts a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute.
1 min read
Executive Skills & Strategy News in Brief Group Pushes Vendors and Districts to Sign Computer Science Accessibility Pledge
A leading group supporting the "computer science for all" push in schools wants vendors, investors, districts, and others to publicly commit to supporting improved accessibility for students with disabilities.
1 min read