Technology has the potential to improve student capacity to learn in new and exciting ways that promote interactivity and deeper understanding of a given topic. In a survey of K-12 Technology newsletter readers, we explored what types of technology tools are currently in use and for what purposes.
To give you a quick look at the numbers, check out our infographic: How Teachers Use Interactive Technology. Then read on for more details.
What EdTech Tools Are Teachers Using?
Game-based learning is a popular way for schools to make use of digital technology, particularly for students in grades 3–8.
Robots are considered appropriate for a wide range of grade levels and are used as a mechanism to learn robotics or to supplement instruction, according to approximately 40 percent of respondents. Administrators and IT/tech respondents are more likely to be aware of robots being used within their school’s curricula than individual teachers.
Fewer have adopted the use of either Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) within their curricula; one-third use VR, while AR is utilized by just one-fifth of respondents.
How Are These EdTech Tools Helping Students Learn?
The most popular use of VR/AR technology is to allow exploration of new locations, similar to field trips, that enables students to “visit” places they would otherwise not be able to see. Other uses pertain to providing students with greater context by placing them into situations from history or providing context/background before reading period literature.
Teachers also indicate that science experiments can be reinforced by allowing students to better visualize a complex concept than they could on their own without the aid of VR. AR is sometimes used as a way for students to present the information learned or to help nonverbal students with communication.
What Does the Future Hold for EdTech Resources?
Infrastructure spending will make way for technology tools that have been proven to improve learning outcomes, including VR/AR. More than just a game and a gadget that makes learning fun, VR and AR have the ability to bring new context, insight, and experiences that are not accessible to all students.
The quality of education will continue to improve for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status. VR and AR will help facilitate a deeper understanding and internalization of history, social studies, science, and literary concepts in ways adults cannot even comprehend.
The data found in this post, infographic, and corresponding white paper are based on a survey conducted December 2017-January 2018 by rsEdge, Inc. among 156 K-12 Technology newsletter readers, which includes teachers, IT/tech coordinators, tech integrationists, and district administrators. Respondents were screened to serve kids in grades K-12, although some also serve PreK and Higher Ed/Adult Learning.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Northrup GrummanFoundation annually present one Excellence in Engineering Education Award to recognize the importance of integrating high-quality engineering instruction into science classrooms and the critical need to make students proficient in practices used by engineers in the field.
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