Annual education survey finds concern about students' screen time outside class

Posted April 17, 2018 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated March 4, 2019 3:31 p.m. EST

An overwhelming majority of U.S. principals said students are too consumed with phones and other digital screens while not in class, according to the results of a new survey released Wednesday by Education Week.

According to the survey, 95 percent of school principals said students spend the right amount of time in front of screens while in class but usage outside of classrooms is excessive.

"Principals are facing very complex challenges involving technology," said Kevin Bushweller, the project editor of Technology Counts. "Whether it's addressing students' online behavior or using digital tools to personalize learning, those challenges look like they are going to get increasingly more difficult."

Education Week's Research Center Technology Counts survey was conducted in February 2018 and includes responses from over 500 top school administrators, including principals, assistant principals and deans.

The report underscores mounting concern among educators about excessive screen time and crystallizes school administrators' ongoing anxiety about a host of issues from digital platforms, including:

  • 45 percent of school leaders are "extremely concerned" about cyber-bullying.
  • More than half of school administrators are extremely concerned about students' social media use outside of school.
  • 43 percent of school officials have expressed concern about students' inability to determine how reliable online news sources are.
  • The majority of leaders, 57 percent, said digital technologies are an important tool to personalize the learning experience based on individual students.

Education Week publishes it annual report on educational technology every year.

The publication is published by Editorial Projects in Education, a non-profit group based in Bethesda, Maryland that works to raise awareness and understanding about pressing educational issues facing students, teachers and administrators from Pre-K to the 12th grade.

For previous Education Week technology reports: Click here

To see the 2018 Technology Report: Click here