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Connecting in the new school year

2 min read


For many educators and students a new school year is underway or about to begin, and along with it come new goals and updated plans for the use of education technology to help educators share best practices and improve student learning.

Last week, we polled SmartBrief on EdTech readers about their plans for using technology in the new school year. An overwhelming 86.67% of respondents reported that they are most excited about new technology tools for learning in the classroom, compared with those reporting excitement about online testing, data systems or tools for classroom management.

For increasing connections with their colleagues this year, 40.3% of respondents plan to utilize personal learning networks, while 35.82% say they will use professional development, 13.43% will rely on social media and 10.45% expect to form connections at education conferences.

Respondents also said that their schools plan to introduce new technology for students this year, with 68.29%  reporting that students will be introduced to iPads in the classroom, while slightly more than 17% will introduce flipped or blended instruction and 14.63% are implementing digital textbooks.

Here’s a look at the poll results:

Which of the following types of technology are you most excited about using in your school or district this year?

  • Technology tools for learning in the classroom: 86.67%
  • Online testing under the common core: 6.67%
  • Technology tools for classroom management: 3.33%
  • Data systems to streamline school operations: 3.33%

As an educator, which of the following tools do you expect will best help you connect with your colleagues this year?

  • Personal learning networks: 40.3%
  • Professional development: 35.82%
  • Social media channels such as Twitter: 13.43%
  • Education conferences: 10.45%

Is your school or district planning on introducing any of the following technologies to students this school year?

  • iPads in the classroom: 68.29%
  • Flipped and blended instruction: 17.07%
  • Digital textbooks: 14.63%

What are your plans for using technology to connect with your colleagues or improve student learning this year? Please share them in the comments below.

Katharine Haber is an associate editor for SmartBrief, writing and editing content about a variety of topics in education.