Giving Compass' Take:

• New Schools Venture Fund and Gallup break down the results of thousands of interviews with administrators, teachers, and students about the use of EdTech in public schools. 

• How can funders help schools access and use EdTech? 

• Learn about making EdTech more effective

The Education Technology Use in Schools report reflects the views of students, teachers, principals and district administrators on digital learning tools. Including the perspectives of those most familiar with the impact of these tools in schools can lend important clarity for those seeking to develop new and innovative ways to help teachers teach and help students learn. Results of the surveys are from a sample of 3,210 Pre-K through 12th grade U.S. public school teachers, 1,163 public school principals, 1,219 district level administrators, and 2,696 public school students in 3rd through 12th grade. NewSchools Venture Fund and Gallup collaborated to develop the surveys. Gallup consultants conducted focus group interviews with students and educators to inform questionnaire development. Rigorous survey methods were used with the aim of securing results that are representative of students and educators in U.S. public schools. Please see the methodology for more information on the study approach.

The report reflects the results from surveys of students, teachers, principals, and district administrators. The results provide critical information for educators, leaders, developers and entrepreneurs to maximize the effectiveness of digital learning tools that support teaching and learning today. The working definition of digital learning tools used for this study is intentionally broad, allowing respondents to consider ways that education is enhanced and impacted by digital learning tools. Digital learning tools are websites, apps, online tutorials, online games and videos or programs used to teach and support student learning and schoolwork.

Key Findings:

Access and Availability In and Out of School

  • Digital learning tools are integral to teaching and learning in and out of school.
  • Many teachers would like to use digital learning tools more often to teach.
  • About four in 10 of students would like to use digital learning tools to learn more often.

Criteria for Selecting and Purchasing

  • Educators select digital learning tools that support student learning and meet learning standards.
  • Majorities of teachers, principals and administrators say digital learning tools support content that aligns with state standards or district initiatives.
  • Teachers, principals and administrators say there is some but not a lot of information about the effectiveness of digital learning tools.

Value and Utility

  • Teachers, principals and administrators see great value in using digital learning tools now and in the future.
  • Students say digital learning tools are fun and help them to learn things on their own.
  • More principals and administrators than teachers support the increased use of digital learning tools.
  • Many administrators say their district has stopped using a digital learning tool because it did not improve student learning outcomes.

Perceptions of Effectiveness

  • Most teachers, principals and administrators think digital learning tools are at least as effective as non-digital learning tools.
  • School district administrators generally have more favorable perceptions of the effectiveness of digital learning tools than teachers and principals.

Approaches to School and Learning

  • Teachers who say students in their class work on varied content at different paces are more likely to say students use digital learning tools daily.
  • Teachers say they know their students personally, and most students feel their teachers care about them.