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EdTech spend in schools should be more evidence driven

It's no secret that we are living in the digital age, and technology can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Technology helps teachers better understand their students, while also helping students learn more effectively. However, it is important to remember that technology alone cannot solve all of our challenges in education: there are many other factors that affect student achievement as well. As educators, we must always keep this in mind when deciding what technologies should be used and how they should be used within our classrooms.

In 2020, the world has seen that technology is a force multiplier in education. It helps keep costs down, improves teacher effectiveness and student outcomes, reduces teacher workload while improving retention, and increases student engagement.

The E-Rate program, which provides discounts on telecommunications services to US public schools and libraries, has been a huge driver of wired broadband adoption in K-12 classrooms over the past decade. For example, between 2007 and 2017, E-Rate dollars helped to pay for more than 3 million classroom routers in U.S. schools—and another 2 million were purchased with non-E-Rate funds or other sources of support.

In 2010, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimated that 50% of the world’s population was enrolled in secondary or higher education. This is a significant increase from the 34% of the world’s population enrolled in secondary or higher education in 2000.

The research from Stanford shows that those who learn from better teachers and those who use technology gain more than 1 Grade Point Average (GPA) point on a 4-point scale in their first year of school at a standard rate of 1 quarter per year.

If you apply this to an adult, this could mean that a person would earn $10,000 more over 40 years. That’s the equivalent of about $100 per month for every year he or she works!

Putting the challenge into perspective:

  1. In classrooms and schools, the majority of learning takes place through the teacher.

  2. This means that all attention is focused on the teacher who has to deliver a certain amount of information in a certain amount of time, from a particular point in space.

  3. The same applies to homework and other learning activities outside school such as extracurricular activities or independent study.

Education technology provides an opportunity for students to learn at their own pace, with access to more resources than are available in school-based settings or at home alone.

As today's education systems struggle to meet the needs of an ever-growing student population, innovative technologies can help. By reducing costs and improving outcomes, edtech can be a tool for school districts' educational leaders who are looking for ways to tackle overcrowding or improve student performance and engagement.

If you're looking for ways that edtech can help your school district meet the needs of students in today's environment, here are just a few examples:

  • Reduce costs: Education budgets have been shrinking across most areas (e.g., teacher salaries) in recent years; however, one area that has remained relatively stable is technology spending. In fact, many schools are turning to edtech as an alternative source of funding because it allows them to save money on other areas while still providing high-quality learning experiences for their students.

  • Improve student outcomes: The benefits of using technology in classrooms extend beyond cost savings—we know from research studies that things like increased motivation levels among students and increased test scores also result when teachers incorporate digital tools into their lessons plans."

While the number of students seeking education continues to grow, there is a need for an evidence-driven approach to the way in which education systems spend on technology in schools. This paper outlines the current situation and argues that there is an urgent need for more research into how technology can be used effectively in schools.



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