Investment Is Critical To Overcoming the Digital Divide for K-12 Schools, Survey Finds

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The impact of COVID-19 reached almost every district and classroom throughout the country, with nearly all educators turning to online strategies for student lessons and working remotely. However, according to Promethean’s 2020 “U.S. State of Technology” survey and report, only 20% of teachers and administrators considered their schools “very prepared to implement remote learning in response to COVID-19.” A much larger percentage of respondents, 41%, said they were only somewhat prepared, having the right IT, but not the processes in place.

The survey of nearly 1,200 American administrators and teachers explored the role technology currently plays in today’s K-12 schools, especially considering the new education realities stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many districts, remote learning brought the digital divide to the foreground, presenting significant professional challenges due to the inequality in access to technology that exists in communities today. Teachers ranked “students lack access to technology” and “engaging students” as their biggest professional challenges in a remote teaching scenario.

At the same time, all respondents stated the digital divide will be their biggest barrier to maximize student success in the 2020/21 school year.

“Technology continues to play a critical part in helping educators streamline learning and improve student outcomes,” said Cheryl Miller, chief marketing officer for Promethean. “As K-12 districts face a school year like none other, our 2020 State of Technology survey further demonstrates 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.”

The survey also highlighted how COVID-19 will shape edtech in the foreseeable future. When asked which technologies they saw making the most significant growth in the next three years, remote learning, virtual learning, and online content and resources topped the list. At the same time, robotics and coding dropped dramatically year-over-year from the 2019 report going from 49% to 14%.

When asked which of the following responses describes you best when it comes to technology, 69% of administrators’ and teachers stated that they are constantly striving to innovate by using technology as a tool for education.

No surprise, 77% of all respondents selected that desktop computers and laptops were the most frequently used technology in schools. However, when asked to select the top three technologies used in their schools from a list, interactive panels and whiteboards were frontrunners.

Promethean’s annual State of Technology in Education report provides a comprehensive view of current classroom technologies, adoption, and future trends.

Insights are captured across the globe with reports in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, France, and Italy. Promethean was recently named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Business-to-Business Communications Campaign of the Year category for the 2019 State of Technology in Education report.

To explore the new 2020 U.S. survey’s full results, click here.

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