What is preventing more effective digital learning?

Districts purchased thousands of new devices during the pandemic, and teachers quickly got up to speed with digital teaching methods. But now that most schools have returned to in-person learning, educators are facing roadblocks as they seek to expand their use of educational technology.

Top of the list are the challenges caused by digital distractions. Working on devices can be very distracting for students, who often stray from the task. (Classic example: watching YouTube videos during virtual instruction).

According to a survey conducted from January 26 to February 7 by the EdWeek research center, 60% of teachers, principals and district leaders reported technological distractions as a major stumbling block to achieving more deeper and more meaningful about technology. Almost as many educators (59%) cited challenges parents face in helping their children use school technology at home.

Because his district provided students with school-provided devices, parents often expect school officials to make sure children use them properly at home, said coordinator Todd Ostrander. technology from the Richland School District in Wisconsin. But that’s not realistic, he says.

“They’ll go home and they’ll watch stupid videos on YouTube,” he said. “We can certainly put filters in place. But, obviously, filters are not universal,” he said. “Parents want us to make sure they don’t go to this website or go to this website. You have to try to explain to them, you can’t really control every minute of the day that [their] child [is] on a device.

More than half of educators (56%) expressed concern that expanding the use of technology in schools will mean a lot more screen time for students. And roughly the same percentage said students’ difficulty connecting at home remains an issue.

And Mark Ryan, the superintendent of the North Valley Military Institute, a charter school in Southern California, said teachers and students were “tired of being in front of a screen all day.” They complain of problems with the blue light emitted by computers and phones, claiming it causes tired eyes and blurred vision.

Ryan, who still teaches two math classes, said he and his students were happy to solve problems by hand on the classroom whiteboard instead of a Chromebook screen.

On the other hand, some students are so used to learning on screens that they find it difficult to adapt to traditional instruction, said Tim Scott, principal of Alta Elementary School in Iowa.

“Kids are totally obsessed with ‘I want to be on the computer. I want to be on the computer,'” he said. place because they want to be on the electronic device.”

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