Double-Digit EdTech Usage Gaps Persist at the Start of the New School Year, According to New Research

RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- LearnPlatform, developer of an edtech effectiveness system used by U.S. school districts and state education agencies, today published an analysis of online usage across more than 8,000 edtech products by 2.5 million students in more than 250 districts in 17 states from February to September 2020. The data confirm significant gaps in edtech usage between more affluent and higher-poverty districts. The data also suggest that digital learning equity gaps, first reported in the spring, have carried over into the fall semester.

"These data provide troubling confirmation of what educators and district leaders already knew and feared. The pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide, resulting in a stark contrast between affluent districts and those serving a higher percentage of low-income families," said Karl Rectanus, CEO and co-founder of LearnPlatform. "While engagement is up overall, and we certainly see districts improving their individual edtech effectiveness, the double-digit gaps that we saw emerge in the spring are still evident this school year."

According to LearnPlatform's latest report, districts in which more than 25% of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches (FRPL) saw deeper and more persistent edtech usage drops than districts serving more affluent student populations. Interestingly, districts with less than 25% FRPL saw increased usage during remote learning last spring, while most others decreased sharply.

In May, LearnPlatform released The Exponential Growth of the Digital Divide, which analyzed student and teacher use of K-12 edtech tools across a cross-section of U.S. school districts from when the transition to remote instruction began due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the updated reports on edtech usage, access and equity during the pandemic here.

About Learn Platform
LearnPlatform is a comprehensive edtech effectiveness system to ensure safe, equitable and cost-effective learning environments. Used by over 240,000 educators to save time, save money and improve outcomes, the research-driven technology and services equip school districts, states and their partners to organize, streamline and analyze their edtech interventions for better instructional, operational and budget decisions.


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