Ahead of this week's ASU + GSV Summit, we asked for the help of conference attendees (some of the leading thinkers in edtech today) and US teachers in completing a short 'inside out' survey. We wanted to shine a light on the views of attendees on the hottest issues and trends in edtech. And then compare them with those of thousands of US teachers operating on the classroom frontline.
At TES Global we believe great technology needs great teachers and our intention is to try and bring these groups closer together by building understanding and highlighting where there is agreement and where views clearly differ. 455 educators and 210 conference delegates responded and while this clearly doesn't represent critical mass, as a pulse survey it provides some interesting insights and talking points for the week ahead.
Here are the top 6 findings:
1. Perceptions over price could be the biggest stumbling block - Educators felt that price is the biggest challenge when selecting edtech (48%) versus just 9% of the edtech community. The latter felt that ease of use was by the far the biggest barrier (36%).
2. Everyone agrees that teacher knows best - 75% of educators felt that they were best placed to make decisions regarding the types of edtech used in the classroom (vs. 52% of the edtech community). 30% of the edtech community felt that district leaders were key.
3. Edtech community supports the role of the teacher - 80% of educators felt that the effective learning environments are a balanced mix of digital and teacher led instruction. The edtech community agreed, but in addition felt even more strongly that they should be mostly teacher led (15%).
4. Keeping the fun in learning - Educators felt making learning more enjoyable was the greatest benefit of tech in the classroom (44%) versus only 25% of the edtech community. They felt that student outcomes were key (45%). Two powerful factors if combined correctly....
5. More PD needed to get the best out of edtech in the classroom - Both sides felt that a lack of training and professional development was the most significant barrier to edtech adoption.
6. Word of mouth is king - Both teachers and edtech (53%) said that peer/ word of mouth was the top factor for identifying the best edtech. Interestingly teachers rely more on blogs than trade publications, perhaps reflecting the value placed on that peer review. Results also suggested that money spent on online advertising was completely wasted.
While the two groups might occasionally miss each other, it was also reassuring to see how overwhelming positive everyone is about the potential of digital learning to help students.
We'd love to hear what you think.