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What Everyone Should Know about Teachers’ Use of Digital and Online Resources


  1. What types of digital content are teachers using in their classroom? 
  2.   K-2 classrooms Gr 3-5 classrooms Gr 6-8 classrooms Gr 9-12 classrooms
    Online curriculum 73% 71% 58% 53%
    Skill development  software and apps 68% 64% 43% 30%
    Videos and movies 66% 66% 56% 54%
    Games 51% 51% 39% 30%
  3. Teacher usage of online curriculum and games within learning has grown significantly since 2015.
    • Online curriculum usage – 62% increase since 2015
    • Online and digital game usage – 465 increase since 2015
  4. Teachers value recommendations on online and digital resources from other teachers.
    • 64% say that they use digital content recommended to them by another teacher at least monthly
    • 57% say that in return they recommend online resources to other teachers at least monthly
    • VIP recommenders:  teachers who have used those resources successfully in their classroom (76%), teachers I know (64%), teachers I admire (58%).
  5. Online videos = professional learning today.  82% of K-12 teachers say… watching an online video for professional learning is a regular activity now.
    • Interesting note - senior teachers with 16+ years of experience (81%) are only slightly less likely than first year teachers (87%) to tap into video based learning
  6. Cloud based productivity and collaboration tools are ubiquitous in classrooms!
    • 56% of K-12 teachers say they are using Microsoft’s Office 365 to support student learning
    • 70% of K-12 teachers say they are teaching in a Google classroom
    • Interesting note – no differences between rural, urban or suburban schools
  7. Using mobile devices in the classroom support value of online and digital content. Top Benefits:
    • 53% of teachers say that students can explore learning topics more fully through use of a mobile device in the classroom
    • 49% say mobile devices provide students with greater access to high quality online content and learning resources
  8. Despite benefits, teachers still report challenges to using digital content in the classroom.
    • I lack authority to purchase or license content that best supports my classroom needs
    • So many products, so little time!   
    • I cannot find the right digital content to differentiate instruction for all students
  9. So, what do teachers need to use digital and online resources more effectively?
    • Planning time with colleagues – 61%
    • Classroom set of mobile devices for student use – 50%
    • Professional learning – 49%
    • Technical support – 49%
    • Reliable and consistent high bandwidth Internet access – 46%
    • Interesting note – Teachers who are using digital content in more sophisticated ways have a different wish list.  Those teachers want curated sets of resources, district recommendations for classroom usage, and in-school coaching. 

SOURCE: Speak Up 2018-19 Research Project Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of over 343,500 K-12 students, parents, educators and community nationwide, collected from October 2018 to June 2019. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.