Special Report
Classroom Technology

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Ed-Tech Use

Planning for the Future, Hoping for the Best
By Kevin Bushweller — June 02, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Planning for the Future, Hoping for the Best

Late March feels like a lifetime ago.

Everyone at Education Week was working remotely by then, schools were scrambling to make the shift to online teaching and learning, the coronavirus was taking the lives of thousands of people—including educators—and the economy was in the beginning of its downward spiral.

The educational technology landscape was shifting more rapidly than we had ever seen before. Many school districts were making last-minute purchases of Chromebooks, iPads, or other digital devices to put in the hands of students, with the goal of giving everyone an opportunity to engage in remote learning.

In the rush to throw together online learning programs, confusion reigned, especially around equity issues. Officials in some districts, such as Philadelphia, initially said they would not continue instruction while school buildings were closed, because some students would not have access to WiFi or computing devices. But then those districts reversed course and put virtual or remote learning programs in place.

It was during that confusion that Education Week decided to reschedule its annual Technology Counts report—which every year takes a look at the state of educational technology in K-12 schools—from mid-April to early June. We wanted to let the dust settle a bit on the remote learning scramble, giving us some time to see how things evolved and what those changes are likely to mean for the 2020-21 academic year and beyond.

Clearly, tech-driven remote learning created huge frustrations for educators. We saw that in the results from surveys conducted by the EdWeek Research Center—and in our reporting. But we also noticed that, by necessity, K-12 educators across the country had upgraded their tech skills faster than ever before.

What impact will those newfound technology and virtual teaching skills have on K-12 education when school buildings reopen? How will schools use all the new digital devices they purchased this spring? And could the increased use of technology heighten already big concerns about data privacy and students spending too much time in front of screens?

This issue of Technology Counts tackles those questions, because we are all now looking ahead, planning for the future, and hoping for the best.

Kevin Bushweller
Executive Project Editor
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2020 edition of Education Week as Editor’s Note: Planning for the Future, Hoping for the Best


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Online Student Engagement?
How is your district doing with online student engagement?
Classroom Technology The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
More than two-thirds of educators expect their use of blended learning to increase during the 2021-22 school year.
8 min read
onsr edtech blended
Getty
Classroom Technology Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
11 min read
onsr edtech hybrid
Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Some Teachers Are New to Laptop Integration. Here’s How to Manage It
Let students help set expectations and make sure both you and they know how to use the tools are just a couple suggestions educators offer.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty