Search form

Education Survey Finds Majority of Teachers Believe Digital Resources Will Replace Textbooks in the Next Decade

Education Survey Finds Majority of Teachers Believe Digital Resources Will Replace Textbooks in the Next Decade

A new survey from Deloitte analyzed responses from nearly 3,000 teachers, parents and students across the country to reveal some interesting opinions about technology today.

According to The 2016 Digital Education Survey, 90 percent of all children are now using technology outside of the classroom, with two-thirds of children beginning technology use at age five.

As a result, the majority of teacher and parent respondents said they believe access to more and better digital content outside of the classroom will help students continue learning while at home and throughout the crucial summer months.

"88 percent of parents and 84 percent of teachers [are] interested in having more at-home digital content available to supplement what's being taught in school. These shifts are transforming the traditional divide between school and home life and creating a more personalized learning experience for all ages,” said Deloitte in a statement.

Teachers could also be interested in having more digital content because they believe soon enough it will be a necessity—75 percent of teacher respondents believe that digital learning content will replace printed textbooks within the next 10 years.

This belief is despite the fact that, according to the survey, only 42 percent of classroom use at least one digital device daily.

The survey also took a look at which devices students are using in today’s schools. The survey found that while laptops and tablets are the two devices most used by students, the two are popular with different age groups.

While tablet-use is popular with younger grades, use begins to decrease as students enter high school—the exact opposite of laptops. The survey found that 53 percent of K-2 students used tablets, while only 25 percent of students did in 9-12. Conversely, while only 15 percent of K-2 students used laptops, 37 percent of 9-12 students did the same.

And although experts expect wearable tech to increase dramatically in classrooms in the next five years, only 3 percent of teachers said they currently use wearable tech devices right now.

Whether or not teacher opinion about the eradication of textbooks within ten years proves to be true, both teachers and parents agree that teachers are the reason why edtech works.

”[T]eachers remain a key avenue to digital adoption. By a wide margin, parents trust teachers most, and teachers trust each other, for advice on both digital devices and learning materials,” Deloitte said.


Other interesting teacher responses:


  • Only 13 percent are currently taking advantage of virtual reality opportunities in the classroom
  • 74 percent said engaging students is the main reason they seek out digital content and resources
  • 63 percent said a lack of funding is the biggest barrier to acquiring new educational technology
  • 60 percent said not having enough devices per student is a setback to learning
  • 81 percent of teachers with 10 or fewer years of experience were most likely to believe in the power of edtech in the classroom, indicating more digital natives are becoming teachers

Other interesting student responses:


  • 41 percent of students said they read books or e-books during the summer as their main source of summer learning
  • 75 percent of students are "very or somewhat interested in spending time learning more about the things they learn about in school when they are not in school"
  • The majority of students' desire to learn is driven by the opportunity to learn new things (41 percent in grades 4-5, 42 percent in grades 6-8 and 37 percent in grades 9-12).


Other interesting parent responses:


  • 81 percent of parents would let their children spend more time watching videos if they are educational
  • 72 percent of parents trust teachers to recommend to them both devices and digital education materials over other sources
  • 46 percent believe a teacher recommendation is the most important factor for purchasing digital learning materials outside of the classroom

Read the full study here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor



Related Readings:

Latest Education News
A new analysis of federal data finds that a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families for...
After conducting a survey, elearning director Peter West shares what his students think about teachers using blended... has announced a new commitment to ensuring student privacy.
What better way to promote summer learning than to engage in STEM activities?
Check out this resource guide for teaching about the general election before it happens on November 8.