Teachers are fed up with being left out of IT buying decisions and feel they should have more of a say.
That is the main message from a survey by digital education company TES Global, which questioned 8,000 teachers globally.
In the results, 59 per cent of teachers believed they should be the primary decision maker for the type of technology used in their classroom, but currently only 36 per cent are consulted during the process.
There is a gap between the US and UK – 37 per cent of US teachers make decisions about technology in the classroom, compared with 25 per cent in the UK.
Unsurprisingly, budgetary pressures drive the most edtech decision making, with 47 per cent of respondents believing that cost is the number one influence on edtech selection, higher than student outcomes (22 per cent) and teacher buy-in (seven per cent). Of the respondents, 43 per cent said parents should play the smallest decision-making role, with district of regional leadership close behind (31 per cent).
The feeling of teacher knowing best continued to come out in the results. A total of 59 per cent said teachers are the best creators of classroom materials, and a mere eight per cent said publishers should be the lead creators.
Colin Hegarty, advanced maths skills teacher and founder of HegartyMaths, said: “For technology to really have the impact we all want, it needs to be designed with an obsessive focus on the theory of great teaching and learning. Who is better placed with this inside knowledge than a teacher? As such, teachers have a great deal of value to add to the creation of great edtech.”
Mobile technology is the most used in both UK and US classrooms (26 per cent and 37 per cent respectively), but UK teachers use more educational games than their US counterparts.
Rob Grimshaw, chief executive of TES Global, said: “Teachers are closest to the needs and behaviours of students, so it’s not surprising they want to have a seat at the table. Education tech companies, school leadership, and officials must find more ways to let teachers voice their opinions, so that only the best and most effective technology makes it to the classroom.”
But despite wanting more power in the decision-making process, many indicated they would welcome guidance and training. The majority – 61 per cent – said they would like to make decisions based on a defined set of options. Only 25 per cent would prefer to make all decisions without someone else narrowing the options.
And interestingly, 57 per cent of those questioned said their teaching training programmes failed to make them feel prepared for evaluating and using technology in the classroom.
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