Technology in the classroom: Teachers’ enthusiasm challenged by lack of resources


Tuesday 26 March 2024

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Press releases

Second-level teachers in Ireland are enthusiastic users of technology in education, but are challenged by a lack of basic resources in schools, including access to computers and technical support.

A RedC/ ASTI survey Digital Technology and its Impact on Teachers’ Working Lives, published today (Tuesday, March 26th), has found a high level of usage of digital technologies by second-level teachers in Ireland: 83% of teachers surveyed use digital technologies in their teaching “all the time” or “frequently”.

However, approximately one quarter of all teachers surveyed identified access to computer devices and technical support/ maintenance as poor. One in four teachers have daily problems with computer room availability while around one in seven experience daily issues with technical assistance and internet connectivity/ speed. 

Teachers expressed concern about a digital divide amongst students, with teachers in DEIS schools highlighting students’ lack of access to digital devices at home as having a negative impact on their ability to engage in important school work, including Junior Cycle Classroom-Based Assessment work.

Teachers and AI
Teachers’ response to artificial intelligence in education is both curious and cautious. Twenty-two per cent said they use AI in their classroom and almost a third use it in their planning and preparation work. Ninety-one per cent of teachers surveyed want to know more about AI and education. However more than 80% have concerns including data harvesting, the potential of AI to undermine professional teacher autonomy and increased teacher workload.

Commenting on the findings of Digital Technology and its Impact on Teachers’ Working Lives, ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien said:

“While teachers are generally positive about integrating new digital technologies into teaching and learning, the survey found that they are being held back by lack of basic resources. This must be addressed if education in Ireland is to keep step with the rest of the world.

“The survey also tells us that for teachers, the impact of digital technologies on their’ workload is a universal concern. Teachers find there is already little room in the school day for them to engage in planning and tailoring digital content, administer e-platforms and carry out other digital tasks. For many teachers, this work is undertaken in the evenings or at weekends. As technology evolves – including AI – we must ensure there is adequate professional time in every teacher’s working day to engage with, reflect on, and embed technology into their teaching practice in an educationally sound way.”

Cyberbullying concerns
Almost one in five second-level teachers claim to have been subjected to at least one form of work-related cyberbullying. Of these teachers, three in 10 say it happened more than once and for more than one in 10 it’s ongoing.

“Teachers described their experience of cyberbullying as impacting on their self-confidence, undermining their sense of self-efficacy and leading them to doubt their sense of authority in the classroom,” said ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien. “We must protect school communities from this scourge, with strong school policies, strong legislation and increased accountability for social media platform providers.”

Right to disconnect
Over half of teachers receive communications from school management outside of normal work hours at least once a week; 19% are contacted by school management on a daily basis. Teachers described the impact of this practice on work-life balance as negative, for example 41% said it made them feel  ‘constantly on’.  

“Communications outside working hours is adding to workload and work intensity. Teachers, like other employees, have the right not to engage in workplace electronic communications when they are not working,” said ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien.

Download Digital Technology and its Impact on Teachers’ Working Lives here. 


Issued by Gemma Tuffy, Communications Official. Tel: 01/6040172; email: [email protected]

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