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Research: Most Teachers Use Technology, Few See Improvements in Achievement

A new survey of K-12 teachers found that 88 percent of respondents said they and their students use technology in class but only 24 percent said they believe it has a strong positive effect on student achievement and a mere 13 percent said it has a strong positive effect on standardized test scores.

Despite that finding, a majority of respondents reported that technology in the classroom positively affects student engagement, student participation and teaching experience, at rates of 92, 90 and 82 percent, respectively.

The survey, dubbed "Technology Use in the Classroom: Benefits and Barriers" and commissioned by digedu, polled 620 current K-12 teachers from around the United States. Other key findings include:

  • Only 10 percent of those surveyed reported that technology — and learning to use it — was a drain on their time;
  • 62 percent of respondents said they wanted to use technology more than they do currently;
  • The most commonly reported uses of technology were word processing, research and video projection, at rates of 73, 72 and 67 percent, respectively;
  • Only 10 percent of survey participants said they'd used technology to flip their classroom and only 32 percent said their classroom was 1:1;
  • Just more than half, 51 percent, said that classroom technology was used for content creation by students; and
  • Nearly three-quarters, 73 percent, of responding teachers said they use technology for 40 percent or less of  class time.

The barriers to use of technology most often cited by teachers in the survey include:

  • 63 percent of respondents said their school didn't have enough hardware;
  • More than half, 53 percent, of those surveyed said enough of their students lack Internet access at home that they don't use technology as much as they'd like;
  • $3 percent of respondents cited issues with broadband as a reason they don't use technology more;
  • 51 percent of survey respondents pointed to lack of adequate support, 48 percent cited loss of class time because of technology use and lack of adequate training was reported at a rate of 46 percent; and
  • Poor visibility into what students are doing with technology was cited as a barrier at a clip of 33 percent.

"This report demonstrates a clear disconnect between what teachers know technology can do for teaching and learning and what is actually occurring in the classroom," said Matt Tullman, digedu president and co-founder, in a prepared statement. "These widely cited barriers deserve immediate attention from the education community in order to ensure that teachers are able to use technology to enhance student learning experiences and help them thrive in the classroom."

To access the full report, visit

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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