Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Will Be the “Next Big Thing” in Education Tech?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers what advancements in technology could help them be more successful at work, either with students or in their own professional development.

As each new year starts, there are multiple stories on the anticipated trends in education technology. Most stories have reinforced the changes we have seen over the past few years that resulted from the "Internet revolution"—the connectivity of students, use of video for classwork and homework, use of mobile devices, and gaming for multiple purposes. However, many feel that education is on the edge of another major technology shift, with cloud applications, e-books, and video conferencing, among other things, contributing to a far greater individualized education experience for students and teachers.

With this in mind, ASCD SmartBrief sought to poll its readers about some cutting-edge technology that might become the "next big thing." Readers selected automated individualized student education plans (35 percent) as the trend that might make educators more successful. Following this, the two items of live two-way peer coaching (22 percent) and accurate voice-recognition word processing (18 percent) were chosen next most frequently. In the third position was spoken language translation without having to type text (12 percent). The other items on the list were selected by less than 10 percent of the readers.

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 200,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 325 readers, starting on February 27, 2014. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

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