Deep Disparities in Digital Access Persist
The digital divide is the top challenge school districts are facing, according to the report.
Thirty-one percent of survey respondents said it’s their biggest barrier to maximizing student success this school year, followed by the impact of the summer slide (26 percent), lack of technology training for teachers (13 percent) and lack of district-level technology resources (6 percent).
Although delivering education through technology is a top priority for many districts, they’ll need to ensure equity and accessibility are top of mind, according to the report.
When Making Tech Investments, Districts Should Embrace Simplicity
Districts will also need to be intentional about their technology investments in a growing ed tech market, especially amid budget cuts, according to the report. To simplify that decision-making process, school and district leaders can take a look at the technologies educators already swear by.
Promethean found that 77 percent of survey respondents felt desktop computers and laptops were the most frequently used technology in their schools. Meanwhile, more than half (52 percent) chose interactive panels or whiteboards, followed by tablets (39 percent).
Technology Training for Teachers Is a Must
Effective technology training will also be crucial moving forward. Forty-three percent of respondents said schools need to prioritize training teachers on technology to make remote and hybrid learning successful, according to the report. Meanwhile, 34 percent of educators said their school lacks a formal technology strategy.
“An effective implementation strategy begins with ensuring that all instructors are competent and confident with the solutions they are expected to utilize, from interactive displays and 1:1 devices to software that powers online learning,” the report notes. “Further, schools need to offer continued professional development opportunities with edtech to help educators master the evolutions in classroom technologies and their capabilities.”
Educators Continue to Embrace Innovation
Promethean also found that educators welcome innovation. The majority (69 percent) said they are “constantly striving to innovate” with technology.
The pandemic has also accelerated digital transformation in schools, which is quickly shaping what education will look like and how it will be delivered in the coming years. Eighty-two percent said that combining technology use with traditional resources and teaching methods is the most likely trend they’ll see in the next ten years. More specifically, respondents expect to see the biggest growth in remote learning (63 percent), virtual learning (54 percent) and online content and resources (50 percent) in schools over the next three years.
“In a post-COVID world, the classroom is no longer contained within four walls,” according to the report. “Edtech will be the key to expanding beyond them.”