Ed Tech Trends

Remote Learning Will Continue Growing over the Next Three Years

Over the next three years, a majority of K-12 educators expect online learning and digital curriculum to get ever more-important, while two STEM standbys will go by the wayside.

Sixty-three percent of respondents to a summer survey by interactive display company Promethean reported that they expect remote learning to experience the biggest growth, followed by virtual learning (54 percent) and the use of online content and resources (50 percent). But the use of robotics and coding has shrunk in importance, from choices selected by 49 percent in 2019 to 14 percent in 2020.

As the education technology company observed in a report on the results, perhaps "the focus has shifted to getting back to basics when delivering the in-classroom experience remotely."

Remote Learning Will Continue Growing over the Next Three Years

A teacher ranking of professional challenges in remote teaching.Source: "The State of Technology in Education 2020-2021 Report" from Promethean

Promethean commissioned a survey of 1,200 U.S. teachers and school leaders on a number of topics having to do with the state of technology in schools.

The survey found that the digital divide "runs deep." As one superintendent told researchers, "Equal access to the Internet when students are at home should be a priority for the state legislature."

The biggest barriers that surfaced for remote instruction, according to teachers specifically, was a lack of access to technology among students and engaging them. At the same time, half of all respondents (49 percent) said that the use of technology in the class was "a great way to engage students." As one teacher noted, "The biggest benefit of educational technology is that it mirrors how students learn outside of school."

Two-thirds of teacher respondents (69 percent) — both this year and last year — said they're "constantly striving to innovate by using technology as a tool for education." The remainder either feel that they use tech "competently" in their own lives but lack confidence to use it in school or "struggle" to use it at the level required for education purposes.

Maybe that's why when asked what schools needed to prioritize to make remote instruction successful, four in 10 survey participants (43 percent) said teachers needed training on the technology. A third (34 percent) reported that their schools had no "formal outlined strategy" for using tech.

"Technology continues to play a critical part in helping educators streamline learning and improve student outcomes," said Cheryl Miller, the company's chief marketing officer, in a statement. "As K-12 districts face a school year like none other, our 2020 'State of Technology' survey further demonstrates the need to make technology available to all districts and students to bridge learning gaps and help teachers create impactful learning experiences regardless of wherever those classrooms are taking place."

More complete results are available with registration on the Promethean website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.