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September 11, 2023

Educators Express Hope, Excitement, and Tech Optimism in New Back-To-School Survey

GoGuardian, Pear Deck Learning's parent company providing proven solutions to create effective, engaging, and safer learning environments, has announced insights from a survey of over 1,100 educators from across North America, highlighting back-to-school hope, excitement, challenges, student engagement, and technology optimism.

As educators welcome students back to their classrooms for the 2023-2024 school year, they are continuing to embrace educational technology. Over 93% of those surveyed reported they are somewhat or very likely to implement an educational technology product they have never used before. Educators mentioned a total of 149 different technology products when asked what they plan to use, including gamified learning solutions, new digital presentation tools, ChatGPT, and a variety of classroom management platforms.

Regarding AI, half of teachers say AI features will not impact their likelihood of adopting a product, while 38% say AI increases the likelihood of them adopting a product. Teachers are most interested in seeing AI applied in education technology for the purposes of content creation, followed closely by use in interventions, data analysis, and lesson planning.

“In our new back-to-school educator survey, we aim to connect with teachers and learn about their priorities, concerns, and challenges. As a learning company, it’s essential to consistently listen to the educator experience,” said Mariana Aguilar, vice president of education at GoGuardian. “With the tumultuous years of the pandemic behind us, we’re encouraged to hear teachers are optimistic about the current state of student engagement compared to last year.”

Key findings

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Educators continue to recognize student engagement as a top priority. When asked about their biggest challenge in the coming year, 45% of teachers predicted motivation and engagement will be their top issue, while 24% anticipate the biggest classroom challenge will be digital distractions, such as students’ personal phones.
  • Technology has become a critical engagement tool for many teachers. 64% of teachers said they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned about losing technology resources in their classrooms this year due to funding cuts, and the majority of those noted their primary concern around technology loss is how it would impact classroom engagement.
  • Students want collaboration and gamification. When asked about what students are most excited about in their classrooms, 74% of teachers responded students are excited about collaborating with one another, while 73% of teachers surveyed said students were excited about gamified learning, in which students are motivated by introducing game-like elements into the learning process.
  • Teachers are committed to their own growth. When teachers were asked what they themselves were most excited about, 37% noted they were excited to see their students, and 32% said they were most looking forward to using new teaching techniques.
  • We’re at a turning point. Of teachers surveyed, 92% believe students will be more or equally engaged this coming school year when compared to last, citing the distance from the pandemic and continued familiarity with in-classroom learning. Teachers also noted their own professional development and implementation of new engagement strategies will play a role in classrooms’ increased engagement.

“As we move further from the effects of the pandemic and remote learning, I’ve found student engagement has consistently improved,” said Amy Weston, a language arts teacher in Michigan. “Purposeful learning can happen when we help students invest in their own learning. This year, with improved personal responsibility and more established relationships and room for collaboration, I’m hopeful I will continue to see stronger engagement and ultimately better learning outcomes in my classroom.”

About the survey: GoGuardian conducted the survey through its nationwide network of educators spanning all 50 states. The survey was fielded from July 12 through Aug. 2, 2023, and received 1,134 responses. This research is part of GoGuardian’s work to source candid insights and reflections from teachers across the country, with an aim to better understand key trends and customer needs.

We've also provided the complete survey results with detailed charts.


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