The pandemic created a greater dependence on edtech tools among educators and students than we’ve ever seen before. Sure, there were headaches and resistance from students and teachers alike who felt forced to adapt to these new technologies. However, edtech is here to stay, but it’s evolving.
Time and time again in previous interviews with District Administration, K12 technology experts tell us that they depend on edtech tools to support and enhance learning without replacing the role of the classroom teacher. And that’s exactly what teachers and administrators now recognize, according to a new report from learning edtech company Clever.
The researchers surveyed 1,500 teachers and administrators to gain a better understanding of the latest trends surrounding edtech use in schools while also capturing their thoughts and feelings toward certain tools. The findings may serve as a blueprint for administrators looking to modernize their classrooms in 2023 and beyond. Here are the five most impactful trends shaping K12 education and technology that you need to know.
Teachers and administrators cherish edtech
Despite initial resistance against edtech during the pandemic, such technology continues to play an integral role in classroom instruction. For instance, 65% of administrators report an increase in the number of edtech tools being leveraged in their district.
“What started as a solution for virtual learning has become an indispensable element of classroom instruction,” the report reads. “As the use of edtech continues to rise, these tools are playing an evergreen role in shaping teaching and learning.”
Additionally, nearly 90% of administrators report “sustained or more positive” attitudes among students toward edtech over the past year. And according to teachers, gamified applications emerged as the top tool for student engagement.
Similar to the previous finding, there was substantial pushback from educators against AI as they considered whether such technology has a place in the classroom. But despite fears surrounding academic dishonesty and plagiarism, the consensus is that AI will have a significant impact on K12 education.
Seventy-eight percent of administrators said ChatGPT will have a moderate or significant impact on teaching and learning compared to 89% of teachers. Most notably, administrators (77%) are more familiar with the tool than teachers (40%). As such, administrators (41%) are they’re less worried about AI’s impact on K12 education than teachers (55%).
Barriers to AI adoption
Although administrators and educators have recognized AI’s impact on education, districts have been slow to welcome the technology in their schools.
The vast majority of administrators have yet to offer any sort of AI-related training for teachers. For instance, 89% of districts aren’t offering professional development and 96% of teachers haven’t received any training.
Similarly, edtech vendors are approaching the adoption of such technology with caution while 39% of vendors say AI is shaping their product roadmap.
“We are taking a careful approach to classroom AI, with student safety the priority,” said Tommy Day, senior product manager at Khan Academy in the report. “Thoughtful integration requires guardrails to minimize risks and maintain trust—core to our brand as we explore new technologies like AI.”
Leveraging edtech to reduce workloads
The findings point to an increased potential in edtech to reduce burnout and provide teachers with time to focus on their primary task: student learning.
Sixty-eight percent of teachers believe that edtech makes them more efficient. Furthermore, 74% of administrators think this is what drives edtech use among educators.
“Teachers and administrators largely agree that edtech has significantly streamlined their work and made their jobs more manageable, allowing them to focus on what’s most impactful—learning in the classroom,” the report reads. “This supports existing data demonstrating that edtech has the potential to increase what teachers are able to accomplish with their students.”
Supporting diverse learners
Both teachers and administrators understand the need to support students with IEPs or 504 plans through edtech. However, there’s concern among both groups surrounding their ability to do so.
For instance, 70% of teachers and 51% of administrators said they want more edtech support for diverse learners. Additionally, 56% of teachers and 59% of administrators said they’re more concerned about the availability of products that can adequately support such students.
Similarly, respondents reported a growing need for accessible and personalized education. Edtech tools that promote self-paced and skill-based learning are among the most valued among educators for their ability to enhance student learning experiences.
“Teachers are the pilots of the classroom,” said Matthew Feldmann, VP of product at MIND Research Insitute in the report. “Right now, we’re asking them to both build the plane and fly it—an immense task. Our job is to make their lives easier by co-designing and building the tools they want to help students learn more effectively.”