Tech-Savvy Educators Often Use Vendors’ Info to Find Ed-Tech, But Doubt Their Research, Study Says

EdWeek Market Brief
Michele Molnar
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The main way tech-savvy educators find out about ed-tech tools is from web searches, but nearly half of them also rely heavily on vendor reports for information on those products, according to a new survey.

The co-sponsors of the research—the International Society for Technology in Education and the Jefferson Education Exchange (JEX)—are working actively to change this dynamic.

In the study of 1,124 teachers, school administrators, district staff, and technology leaders, over half (57 percent) indicated that their local education leaders rarely or never discuss ed-tech research.

The respondents think research is important. In fact, three-fourths of them said it is part of their jobs.

When they talk about research, these educators generally do so under specific conditions. About 70 percent said it’s when they’re discussing tools recommended by colleagues or, collaboratively, during planning time (64 percent.)

Of those who reported being personally involved in procurement decisions, 65 percent said that they discuss ed-tech research with colleagues when working on a committee responsible for making procurement decisions about it, and 57 percent discuss such research with colleagues when seeking approval to use a new tool or product.

The respondents to the survey—from 50 states, D.C., and four territories—were more likely to be involved with ed-tech procurement than a general group of educators would be, according to Brandon Olszewski, director of research at ISTE, which distributed the survey with JEX to 18 organizations. That’s possibly because 60 percent of them are part of ISTE, and 28 percent from ASCD.


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