Daily Use of Tech Devices by Teachers and Students

Publication Year: 
2016
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Sample size: 
About 700 teachers
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Since 1997, Education Week’s annual Technology Counts has tracked the evolution of digital technology and learning in the nation’s schools.  For the 2016 edition of the report, the Education Week Research Center created a brand new way of examining teachers’ views on educational technology. Based on exclusive results from an original national survey of about 700 teachers, the Education Week Tech Confidence Index takes the pulse of America’s educators and gauges their level of confidence in educational technology in K-12 schools, both now and in the future.

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Using Technology: Teachers

[…] the ways in which teachers actually make use of technology in the classroom vary by confidence level. In fact, Bulls are more likely than Bears to make daily use of nearly every tool we asked about on the survey. For instance, 47 percent of Bulls say they use digital curricula on a daily basis compared with only 17 percent of Bears. Similarly, Bulls are nearly three times more likely to report daily use of learning management systems (LMS) than their Bear counterparts.

Bulls and Bears diverge when it comes to devices (rather than tools). Of the six devices we asked about, Bulls are most likely to use laptops on a daily basis (64 percent). By contrast, Bears are most likely to use desktops daily (49 percent). With the exception of e-readers (which neither group uses much), Bulls are more likely than Bears to use every type of device.

This suggests that, for the teachers who took the survey, greater levels of confidence in educational technology are associated with more frequent use of devices and tools.

One exception to this general pattern is wireless access, the tool that Bulls and Bears are most likely to use daily. Here the two groups report using wireless on a daily basis in equal numbers.

Using Technology: Students

We also find evidence that a teacher’s level of confidence in educational technology can spill over onto her students. In fact, the students of the typical Bull spend nearly twice as much class time using digital learning tools.  Half of class time is spent digitally engaged in Bull classrooms, compared with about 25 percent among the students of Bears.

We asked teachers how frequently their students use six different devices: desktops, laptops, whiteboards, tablets, cell phones, and e-readers. Across the board, Bulls’ students use every kind of device more frequently than do the students of Bears.

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