Classroom Technology

Schools Plan to Do More Business Online. But Most Don’t Plan to Teach That Way

By Mark Lieberman — November 30, 2022 2 min read
A Black businesswoman gestures as she talks with a group of colleagues during a virtual meeting.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For many educators, gathering around a conference table to learn in person from peers may be a rare occurrence going forward. But online teaching appears unlikely to become the norm anytime soon.

More than half of school district leaders and principals say they’re more likely than before the pandemic to conduct professional development virtually, according to a nationally representative survey conducted in August and September by the EdWeek Research Center for EdWeek Market Brief, a publication focused on covering the K-12 marketplace.

But only 12 percent said their school or district is more likely to virtually instruct students in core subjects, and only 10 percent said the same for elective courses.

The abrupt shift to remote learning that accompanied the start of the pandemic didn’t just affect K-12 classrooms. It has also reshaped how teachers, administrators, and other school workers collaborate with other adults.

Just under half of the 231 district leaders and 295 principals who responded to the survey said they’re now more likely to reach out to parents and hold parent-teacher conferences online. Roughly the same percentage said they expect to attend more conferences and professional events virtually as well.

Slightly more than one-third of district leaders and principals said they’re likely to take meetings with potential vendors online more often than they did before. And two-fifths said internal meetings with employees are more likely to be virtual.

Twenty-two percent even said tutoring students is more likely to happen online—a notable shift given the burst in high-dosage tutoring fueled by federal COVID relief funds and pressure to help students recover from missed learning during the pandemic.

Transitioning to virtual conversations for all of these activities requires some finesse. For instance, professional development experts say session leaders should allow participants to spend ample time on a new skill, rather than breezing through a slew of skills in short order. They also stress the importance of letting teachers express their needs, providing multiple meetings to reinforce skills, and soliciting feedback to help make sessions more useful.

District and school leaders also face an uphill climb convincing colleagues that professional development is best delivered online. Half of teachers, principals, and district leaders surveyed this summer by the EdWeek Research Center said they’d prefer to gain professional development on technology tools either mostly or entirely in person.

Recent research on online tutoring, meanwhile, shows promise. Studies out of Europe earlier this year showed that students who participated in online tutoring scored higher on standardized tests and were less likely to repeat a grade. The biggest challenge with online tutoring, according to more recent studies, is ensuring that programs reach the students who would benefit the most.

The transition to virtual operations is far from universal. Roughly 23 percent of respondents to the EdWeek Research Center survey this fall said they don’t plan to conduct activities online more than they did before the pandemic.

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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

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 Most Teens Learn About Climate Change From Social Media. Why Schools Should Care
Teens are getting information on climate change from YouTube and Facebook, underscoring the need to teach media literacy in schools.
9 min read
Illustration of mobile phones, tablet and laptops with different climates.
Dan Page for Education Week
Classroom Technology Can Digital Tools Detect ChatGPT-Inspired Cheating?
Tools purporting to detect AI writing may help teachers but they come with their own set of complexities.
7 min read
Image of a examining a piece of written material.
ojogabonitoo/iStock/Getty + EdWeek
Classroom Technology Opinion Will ChatGPT Unflip the Classroom?
21st-century technology helped flip the classroom, and now, ChatGPT may make the case for having students write in class again.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Classroom Technology Explainer Is the Gas App Safe? Here's What You Need to Know
Gas is billed as a positive, safer alternative to other popular social media apps. But experts see problems.
2 min read
Photograph of a group of young people holding their mobile phones together
iStock/Getty