HMH Teacher Survey Shows Strong Tech Adoption

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has launched a new annual report, the HMH Educator Confidence Report, with an inaugural release that finds strong digital adoption among educators.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 teachers and school and district-level administrators, the report found that nearly all, 97 percent, of respondents said they use some form of digital content and more than half said they use apps, Web sites or games in the classroom. Among those, the resources most commonly cited were open educational resources (OERs) and videos, at 71 and 66 percent, respectively, digital instructional materials and interactive whiteboards, both at 54 percent, and apps, Web sites or digital games, at 51 percent.

Despite that, 58 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the privacy of student data, two-thirds said they use digital tools for learning purposes infrequently and only 23 percent said they use the most common classroom technology, student laptops or desktops, daily.

Other findings of the report include:

  • 68 percent of respondents said their students rarely or never use digital tools to engage with each other for learning;
  • 65 and 63 percent, respectively, said the same about taking assessments and turning in assignments;
  • 77 percent of administrators surveyed said interactive whiteboards were used in the classroom compared to 52 percent of teachers reporting the same;
  • Similar gaps existed in reported usage of other technologies, including OERs, at 87 and 70 percent, online assessments, at 66 to 42 percent, learning management systems, at 64 to 36 percent, and adaptive learning content, at 49 to 35 percent;
  • The most commonly cited benefit of technology-enhanced instruction was improved student engagement, at 60 percent. Better student access to instructional content, at 55 percent, and improved ability to provide individualized instruction, at 48 percent, rounded out the top three;
  • Only 41 percent of respondents said they feel positive about the current state of teaching in America and a mere 13 percent said they feel more positive about it than they did five years ago. 64 percent said they feel more negative about it than they did five years ago and 23 percent said they felt about the same; and
  • Lack of funding was the most commonly cited worry, with 66 percent of survey responders citing it. The implications of teacher accountability followed closely, cited as a concern by 63 percent of respondents and meeting standards-aligned assessment requirements came in third at 58 percent.

"This data shows that the environment for educators is visibly challenging, with new standards and technology driving both anxiety and optimism," said HMH Chief Content Officer Mary Cullinane in a prepared statement. "It is our job to help teachers grappling with these changes; we need to create digital solutions that are designed with simplicity and engagement in mind. That, together with effective technology training and meaningful opportunities to collaborate, can help reduce anxiety and support teachers’ confidence as a whole."

The full report is available at

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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