According to a new survey, the majority of K-12 teachers are paying out of their own pockets for ed tech for their classrooms and students.

The survey, conducted by EdWeek Market Brief found that teachers are paying for everything from online lessons to apps, and even devices. The findings include:

  • 47 percent of teachers survey have paid for individual online lessons or units;
  • 42 percent have paid for instructional content;
  • 36 percent have paid for enrichment materials;
  • 36 percent have paid for learning-related games or apps;
  • 18 percent have paid for remediation-related ed tech for students;
  • 16 percent have paid for an exam or quiz; and
  • 10 percent have paid for a device such as a Chromebook or iPad that they use regularly in the classroom.

According to EdWeek Market Brief, only 21 percent of respondents say they’ve never paid out of pocket for ed tech for their classroom.

The survey also found that elementary-level educators are more likely to use their personal money to pay for digital products than are middle or high school teachers. The report acknowledged that teachers from every level say they’ve paid for lessons, remediation, enrichment, games or apps, and instructional content.

More than half of elementary educators surveyed say they’ve paid for individual digital lessons or units, compared to 48 percent of middle and 38 percent of high school educators. Additionally, 28 percent of elementary educators have paid for remediation delivered via tech, compared to just 18 percent of middle and 8 percent of high school educators.

While many teachers are using their own money to bridge district funding gaps, EdWeek Market Brief found that many district administrators frown upon individual teachers using ed tech products they’ve sourced without the school system’s knowledge and approval.

The research report said that school administrators are largely concerned about online security risks, since teachers sourcing their own ed tech can result in the district having dozens, or potentially even hundreds, of tech tools and platforms in use that may not mesh with the district’s overall academic and technology goals.

However, the report said it’s unclear whether survey respondents were purchasing these products from an approved list or with permission from their district.

Read More About
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs