NewSchools Venture Fund and Gallup Release Survey Findings About Ed Tech Usage in U.S. PreK-12 Schools

September 12, 2019

New report unveils opinions from teachers, principals, administrators and students on digital tools 

(Oakland, CA, Sept. 12, 2019– Gallup and NewSchools Venture Fund today announced the release of a new reportEducation Technology Use in Schools. This report is based on the results of a survey of 3,210 Pre-K through 12th grade U.S. public school teachers, 1,163 public school principals, 1,219 district level administrators, and 2,696 public school students in 3rd through 12th grade. 

The goal of the report is to better understand student and educator perceptions and usage of education technology in schools.  

As an early-stage ed tech investor, NewSchools has particular interest in how digital learning tools are used, and what educators and students think about them,” said Tonika Cheek Clayton, managing partner, NewSchools Venture Fund. “Many of the survey findings reinforced what we’ve been hearing over the years from teachers. However, we were genuinely surprised by some other findings. In a companion report, the team at NewSchools also analyzed some of the points they found most intriguing.  

The NewSchools-Gallup report shows almost every school in America is using digital learning tools. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of teachers surveyed say they use digital learning tools to teach every day, and 57% of students say they use them to learn every day. In addition to respondents’ views odigital learning toolsfindings in the report provide insights on their usage patterns 

Including the perspectives of those most familiar with the impact of these tools in schools can lend important clarity for those seeking to develop new and innovative ways to help teachers teach and help students learn,” said Stephanie Marken, executive director of education research, Gallup. “This study represents a wide-ranging effort to bring to light how education stakeholders use and feel about digital learning tools.” 

A Sampling of Major Findings: 

  • Digital learning tools are integral to teaching and learning in and out of school. About two-thirds of teachers (65%) say they use digital learning tools to teach every day; 22% use them a few days a week, and only 13% use them once or less per week. About seven in 10 students report using digital learning tools outside of school for schoolwork at least a few days a week. However, more teachers (64%), principals (73%) and administrators (66%) than students (42%) themselves say students would like to use digital learning tools more often to learn.
  • Majorities of teachers, principals and administrators say digital learning tools support content that aligns with state standards or district initiatives. Among rated criteria, teachers, principals and administrators are most positive about the extent to which digital learning tools support content that aligns with state standards or district initiatives. Majorities of each group (53%, 51% and 51%, respectively) say they do this a great deal.
  • Teachers, principal and administrators see great value in using digital tools now and in the future. Teachers (81%), principals (88%) and administrators (92%) strongly agree they see great value in using digital learning tools in the classroom now; slightly more among each group strongly agree or agree they see great value in using them in the future (85%, 93% and 95%, respectively).
  • Most teachers, principals and administrators think digital learning tools are at least as effective as non-digital learning tools. Across nine objectives studied, educators say digital learning tools are at least as effective as non-digital tools. They are most likely to say digital learning tools are more effective than non-digital tools for connecting learning to students’ future jobs and careers.  
  • Teachers who say students in their class work on varied content at different paces are more likely to say students use digital learning tools daily. More than six in 10 teachers (64%) who say their students work on different content at different paces in class report their students use digital learning tools daily. Among teachers who say their students learn the same content at the same pace as a class, 45% report their students use digital learning tools daily.  

NewSchools and Gallup collaborated to develop the surveys. Gallup consultants conducted focus group interviews with students and educators to inform questionnaire development. Rigorous survey methods were used with the aim of securing results that are representative of students and educators in U.S. public schools. The full report includes an overview of the methodology and provides additional information on the study approach. 

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that supports and invests in promising innovators and teams of educators who want to reimagine learning. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the schools, students, and educators they serve. We are committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investments, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine PreK-12 education.