Nation’s Teachers and Parents Overwhelmingly Embrace Education Technology in Classrooms but Want Guardrails in Place
WASHINGTON―A new Hart Research survey has found that the majority of educators and parents embrace and encourage the use of education technology in the classroom―but they want to see guardrails in place to protect kids.
The Surveys of Teachers and Parents on Educational Technology found that over three-quarters of preK-12 teachers use education technology daily in communication (77 percent), planning and preparation (71 percent) and whole-class or large-group instruction (65 percent). Likewise, 76 percent of surveyed parents are favorable toward how technology is being used to facilitate teaching and learning in their child’s school, and 66 percent of teachers believe education technology has a positive impact on their students’ learning.
The survey also shows that while both groups embrace education technology, 84 percent of teachers agree that teachers should have more say over how it is deployed in classrooms―and 55 percent of parents say they would like parents to have more say as well. A majority of educators, 75 percent, reported that their students never use artificial intelligence software or AI-enabled search engines (e.g., ChatGPT, DALL-E, Bard) for learning. Likewise, 76 percent of educators say they never use AI software or AI-enabled search engines for their own work.
“This survey debunks many myths. Education technology is embraced by the nation’s educators and parents, but they want a say in how it is introduced and used and want guardrails in place, particularly guardrails for kids’ use of social media,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “This survey underlines a prevailing truth when it comes to education―listen to teachers, listen to parents, listen to students. And it illustrates what we have always known—that parents and teachers are much more closely aligned when it comes to the education and well-being of their students than some politicians would have us believe.”
The new survey also looks at social media and finds that 74 percent of teachers believe that students’ social media use has a negative impact on them. The parental view on social media is more nuanced, with 24 percent seeing a negative impact, 23 percent seeing a positive impact and 52 percent seeing a mixed impact. When asked about the amount of time spent on social media, 32 percent of parents say their children spend too much time on it and 28 percent say their child does not have a social media account at all.
“There’s no doubt that social media has a huge impact on kids’ mental and even physical health―the dangers of which are not taken lightly by either our nation’s educators or parents,” says Ailen Arreaza, executive director of ParentsTogether. “We believe parents and teachers are equally invested in the success of their students and are careful to help them avoid the common pitfalls of bullying, addictive behaviors, loneliness and lack of privacy. This survey confirms that when it comes to the safety of our nation’s next generation, educators and parents are increasingly on the same page.”
Given that only 28 percent of surveyed parents say their kids don’t have a social media account, it’s clear that the impact of social media is a continuing concern for everyone invested in our children’s futures.
The online survey of teachers has a credibility interval (which is similar to a margin of error) of +/-2.4 percent. The online survey of parents has a credibility interval of +/- 3.5 percent. You can download the Hart survey memo here.
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.