Report: Only 20% of educators said schools were ready for remote

Despite the challenges, teachers and administrators say they are embracing the virtual space and using technology more
By: | October 15, 2020
Teacher Shira Mandel instructs first-grade students during a remote learning class at Stark Elementary School in Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images

A recent report on the role that technology and training plays in schools highlights the efforts being made and obstacles being overcome by educators in trying to pivot to virtual instruction before and during the pandemic.

According to the annual “U.S. State of Technology” survey done for 2020 by Promethean, only 20% of teachers and administrators polled said their schools were “very prepared to implement remote learning in response to COVID-19” while more than 40% said they were “somewhat prepared, having the right IT, but not the processes in place.”

However, the group of nearly 1,200 educators who were surveyed said they were robustly embracing remote technology at their schools. Almost 70% said they are trying to implement tech for educational purposes, while 95% said they have utilized online strategies for lessons. Some 80% have made content available online.

Only 10% say they struggle to use the technology required by their schools or districts.

“Technology continues to play a critical part in helping educators streamline learning and improve student outcomes,” said Cheryl Miller, chief marketing officer at Promethean, who stressed “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.”

Inside the numbers

What technologies have been used most widely, according to the group of teachers and administrators?

Beyond laptops and desktops (77%), just over half said they used interactive panels and whiteboards, while another 39% used tablets or iPads. Less than 30% said they employed projectors or videoconferencing or chatting features.

What are some of the barriers facing educators regarding the pivot to remote or hybrid learning and the need to reach all students through technology?

The digital divide came in first at 31%, followed by the “Summer, or Covid Slide” (26%) and budgets cuts (25%). Interestingly, only 6% highlighted a lack of technology resources at the district level as a top concern.

The report also noted that 43% of respondents said teachers need more training on technology. However, one third said their school has “no formal strategy for using technology.”

As for the future of technology in schools, this group of educators overwhelmingly and not surprisingly expects it to be combined with traditional teaching methods and resources (69%). Most see the biggest wave of growth coming in remote learning (63%). One area to watch for further dropoff is robotics and coding, which fell precipitously from last year’s survey (49% to 14%).


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