Use of digital classroom tools holds up post-pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge of K-12 schools and school districts using various digital tools driving the growth of the education technology market – a trend that will likely continue post-pandemic , according to experts. A new report from a North Carolina-based information technology firm appears to prove those pundits right, at least for the first half of the academic year. LearnPlatform, a company that helps educators choose and evaluate digital learning products, revealed in its report that there has been no decline in students’ use of digital tools, platforms and services. or teachers in American schools from last year to this one.

LearnPlatform’s Semi-Annual EdTech Top 40 Report collected data on more than 8,000 ed-tech tools used by millions of K-12 students and teachers between August and December last year, then ranked the tools they used most. According to the report, Google products — Google Docs, Google Slides, YouTube, Google Drive and Google Forms — were the top five used, and the same five that topped the rankings last year, according to a press release. Google products accounted for eight of the top 10 tools in the rankings, with Docs leading the group for the fifth straight year, dating back to LearnPlatform’s first year of data collection in 2017, according to the release. Other tools ranked in the top 10 include Kahoot! and Clever, owned by Kahoot!, ranked sixth and seventh respectively.

The report also mined data for average individual use of the tools by teachers and students, which showed almost no difference from 2020-21 data, according to the statement. According to statistics, K-12 students used an average of 74 different tools, while teachers on average were engaged with 86 over the six-month period. From a district-wide perspective, the average school district used 1,403 tools per month, which is unchanged from the previous year’s data, according to the release. The data covered more than 2 million students and more than 225,000 teachers, and notes that 97% of schools provided primarily in-person instruction.

“It’s clear that technology-enabled learning is here to stay, and not just based on school closures and remote learning,” said LearnPlatform co-founder and CEO Karl Rectanus, in a public statement.

The top 40 was divided into four categories – learner-focused, educator-focused, organizational, and general and pervasive – with the learner-focused category being the largest. Comprised of subcategories including websites, reference collections, study tools, additional platforms, authoring tools, and learning materials/supplies, learner-focused products accounted for 40% of the 40 first. on classroom engagement and instruction being the largest subcategory, comprising 22.5% of the top 40.

Tools that dropped in LearnPlatform’s rankings included video conferencing tools Zoom and Google Meet, as schools returned to more classroom instruction, the statement said. There were several newcomers to the top 40, including classroom engagement tool Gimkit, learning management system Schoology, i-Ready, Grammarly and McGraw Hill Education.

“As districts face budget constraints and uncertainty around continued funding, it’s critical they have the evidence they need about the effectiveness and safety of education technology as they move forward. decision-making to be responsible stewards of available funding,” Rectanus said.

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