NZCER survey: ICT use in primary schools

A recent survey has found that over the past two years, e-learning has been a focus for professional learning or change for 59% of teachers and 39% of principals.

Furthermore, 70% of teachers thought that one of their main achievements as a teacher over the past 3 years was using ICT in new ways for student learning, with a corresponding figure of 69% in principals, and 42% of trustees.

These results were among a myriad of findings published in the latest national survey of the sector by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), written by NZCER chief researcher Cathy Wylie and senior researcher Linda Bonne.

The survey, conducted in July and August 2013, gathered data from 180 principals, 713 teachers, 277 trustees and 684 parents.

Topics covered include school resources and relations with other educational services, support and challenges for schools, working with the New Zealand curriculum, National Standards, student well being and behaviour, principal role and workload, and perspectives from teachers, trustees and parents.

The survey found that there are four main ways that primary schools use ICT to support teaching and learning: classroom work, student management systems to track student engagement in school and their achievement, to support their educator roles, and to communicate with parents and share student performance.

Key findings include:

  • 60% of teachers report that their students’ use of ICT is limited due to insufficient or poor quality equipment, or slow or unreliable access
  • 38% of teachers consider ICT use limited due to frequent breaking down of the school system or the lack of a school technician
  • 38% of teachers think that their students’ use of ICT is limited by their own knowledge and skills as a teacher
  • 19% of teachers think ICT use is limited by the lack of a strong leader of ICT for learning in their school
  • the use of ICT for practising specific skills has increased from 38% in 2010 to 58% in 2013
  • just 8% of teachers reported that students collaborating with others inside the school on shared learning projects occurred; students collaborating with others outside the school was reduced to 4%
  • 70% of teachers agree or strongly agree that the Ministry-funded website is a useful source of support and links
  • 22% of teachers take part in an electronic network of New Zealand teachers, with 12% taking part in an international network
  • just 4% of teachers asked questions on Twitter regarding feedback and ideas for teaching

For a full copy of the survey, visit


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