New survey shows most U.S. teachers want mobile-friendly resources in the classroom

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Survey of 1,000 teachers suggests that while demand for free online resources is nearly universal, discoverability and ease of implementation remain concerns

TES, home to the world’s largest online teacher network, released the results of its Open Education Resources (OER) Survey, which asked nearly 1,000 teachers heading back to school what they want from digital resources, and how OER impacts their work in the classroom.

The 80/20 Rule for Digital Resources

Over one million classroom resources are downloaded every day on, alone, but there is untapped potential with even mega users not tending to share their own work online.

  • Despite the growth in downloads, approximately 83% of teachers aren’t sharing resources online – only 17% of teachers surveyed share most of the original resources they create.
  • A whopping 60% don’t share their original work, while 23% say they only share occasionally.

Enthusiasm for Mobile, Interactive Content

  • Survey respondents expressed a preference for mobile-friendly tools: over 85% think it’s important or very important that any classroom resource or tool is optimized for mobile.
  • 51% believe that online simulations will have the greatest future impact on the classroom, moreso than virtual reality (33%).

Discoverability Concerns Reign, but Usability a Close Second

When asked about the top challenges associated with using digital resources, teachers report that they struggle to find relevant and engaging material:

  • 61% - Finding relevant materials (i.e., standards-aligned, age-appropriate, etc.).
  • 32% - Finding materials across multiple locations (i.e., different websites, Dropbox, platforms, etc.).
  • 46% - Combining a variety of resources into one lesson (i.e. different file formats, integration challenges, etc.).
  • 36% - Organizing/curating resources.
  • 50% - Finding materials that are engaging to students.

“The survey results confirm that despite strong momentum behind the growth of OER, there are still millions of wonderful resources that aren’t currently being shared between educators,” said Lord Jim Knight, chief education adviser for TES. “TES will continue to build tools like TES Teach that simplify the process of finding and implementing digital content, so we can help unlock this amazing collective and global expertise and experience.”

Earlier this month, TES launched a free iPad app called TES Teach with Blendspace that helps teachers create interactive lessons using any digital content.

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