Trump, Clinton Short on Education Technology

Teachers are increasingly focused on bringing technology into the classroom, yet neither Democrat Hillary Clinton nor Republican Donald Trump, the presumptive presidential candidates, even mention the word technology in their K-12 education platforms.

According to a recent study by Edgenuity, a provider of online and blended learning services, 91 percent of teachers agree with the statement: “Technology provides a greater ability for teachers to tailor lessons and homework assignments to the individual needs of each student.” However, almost half of teachers (48 percent) consider the technology they have to be outdated.

While both candidates are discussing education, with Trump calling for the end of Common Core and Clinton going as far to say that every school district should offer computer science and coding programs for students, neither has discussed how technology can be integrated into the classroom.

However, both candidates agree the United States needs a well-educated citizenry, and that there is significant room for improvement in our current education system. The ability to tailor lesson plans and homework assignments on an individual level, which teachers say is possible with increased ed tech, would help students grow academically and help the United States produce more college- and career-ready citizens.

When teachers were asked what they wanted for their dream classroom, 47 percent said better classroom technology. Edgenuity also found that teachers are spending 10 hours a weekday on school-related tasks and activities, with 33 percent of that time spent on administrative tasks. Improving classroom technology could decrease the amount of time teachers spend on administrative paperwork, and increase the time spent lesson planning and teaching.

However, one key road block in acquiring more and better technology is that Trump wants to cut Federal education spending and the U.S. Department of Education, potentially impeding school districts from acquiring new classroom technology. On the other side of the aisle, Clinton is arguing for increased Federal K-12 education spending, with increased focus on students with disabilities and schools that serve a large percentage of low-income students. With a larger budget, schools could increase technology spending to meet teachers’ needs for improved classroom technology.

Moreover, Clinton’s goal to improve learning outcomes for students with disabilities is directly tied to increasing technology in the classroom. A large swath of teachers agree that technology provides a variety of learning tools and modalities (62 percent) and diversifies the learning experience (48 percent) for all students. Equipping teachers with more learning tools and enabling a more personalized education experience allows students with disabilities to achieve more academically. While Trump hasn’t specifically discussed his goals for students with disabilities, his desire to radically cut down on Federal education spending calls into question how learning outcomes for students with disabilities would improve.

To learn more about how teachers view classroom technology and what their dream classroom entails check out Edgenuity’s infographic here.

Kate DeNardi
About Kate DeNardi
Kate DeNardi is 21st Century State & Local's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs
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