The Use of Online Teaching Tools


Education is evolving and students are learning in new ways, exploring, creating, and interacting with content through modern channels. We started an online survey aiming to map the new digital landscape, the challenges, the goals, and the tools of education professionals around the world. We have gathered all the data and present the results so far in this post.


More that 2000 education professionals from 70 countries around the world responded to the online teaching tools survey, the majority coming from the USA, India, Egypt, Indonesia, the UK, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and UAE.

The majority (56.9%) are experienced educators, i.e. they have worked in education for more than ten years.

online teaching tools survey
How many years have you worked in education?

Also, the vast majority (72.7%) are working as teachers / instructors.

online teaching tools survey
What is your role?

The respondents were almost equally divided between public and private institutions, with a small 5% being self-employed.

online teaching tools survey
Do you work for a public or private institution?

Most teachers are employed in small-to-medium schools, that is with up to 1000 students.

online teaching tools survey
What is the size of your school / institution?

Finally, the vast majority (almost 90%) of these schools are located in urban or suburban areas.

online teaching tools survey
What type of area are you located in?

Equipment and Use of Online Teaching Tools

This is the main part of the online teaching tools survey, where teachers reveal the tools they use and how they use them.

Most schools (24.7%) seem to follow the traditional approach, which is in-class computer stations (or labs). An increasing percentage (24.4%) asks students to use their own devices at home, most probably for homework assigned by the teachers.

online teaching tools survey
What is your school’s hardware structure?

Most desktop and laptop computers operate on Windows, whereas most mobile phones use the Android OS.

online teaching tools survey
What type of hardware is currently used in your institution?

Almost half of the teachers asked said that they use a Learning Management System (LMS).

online teaching tools survey
Do you use an LMS?

The vast majority of these teachers are using the LMS regularly, i.e. on a daily or weekly basis (76%).

online teaching tools survey
How often do you use your LMS?

And most of them (76%) report that the LMS has had a positive or very positive impact in their teaching.

online teaching tools survey
How has your LMS impacted your teaching?

How about new concepts and trends in education? Game-based learning is by far the most popular concept (63.8%), followed by coding and virtual reality / augmented reality (VR/AR).

online teaching tools survey
Emerging technology and trends used in the classroom.

When it comes to digital content, most teachers turn to YouTube (68.5%) for resources. No wonder, as we all know the power of videos.

online teaching tools survey
What kind of digital content do you use most?

Admitedly, all of the digital citizenship topics in our list are hot and are certainly in the minds of all teachers. Internet safety proved the most popular (62.8%), followed by communication and media literacy.

online teaching tools survey
What digital citizenship topic are you most concerned with?

Institutional Policies

What is the approach of institutions regarding the use of online teaching tools? Do they support teachers or hinder their efforts?

Most institutions (51.3%) provide some resources to their teachers for their own professional development. For teaching purposes, almost half of them offer either classroom resources created by the school or open educational resources.

online teaching tools survey
What kind of digital tools does your institution provide to teachers?

School policy on social media is mainly regulative to the extend that they are used for teaching purposes (57.6%). There are however the two extremes: schools that openly permit social media (27.7%), and school that totally prohibit them (14.8%).

online teaching tools survey
What is your institution’s policy on social media use?

We also investigated the most prevalent teaching methodologies. We were happy to find out that most of the most popular concepts are ones that this blog has covered extensively, such as formative assessment, project-based learning, flipped classroom, personalized learning, gamification etc.

online teaching tools survey
Which of the following instructional approaches are used at your institution?

In general, teachers think that their school somewhat or very effective at supporting their online or digital teaching.

online teaching tools survey
How effective is your institution at supporting your teaching?

This support comes in the form of workshops (74.3%), classroom observations (65.6%) or presentations (44.3%) in most cases.

online teaching tools survey
What kinds of professional development are provided at your institution?

Finally, it seems that collaboration at most institutions extends only within the same department (41.4%). Few schools collaborate across departments (22.1%), and even fewer across other schools (15.6%). And there are very few lucky ones who enjoy collaboration with schools in other countries (6.8%).

online teaching tools survey
How wide is collaboration at your institution?

Personal Challenges and Goals

In this final part we explore the teachers’ personal goals and aspirations, the obstacles and challenges they face, and their self assessment when it comes to online teaching tools and technology in general.

Sadly, the biggest obstacle to learning is lack of or insufficient funding to institutions. This is an all too common finding. It seems that education is under-funded all over the world. Another hot issue is student disengagement or lack of motivation, and the consequent result, discipline issues. Education is at a crossroads. We may have the best intentions but at the end of the day we are failing our students. We need to rethink and challenge approaches that we have been taking for granted for so many years.

online teaching tools survey
What are the biggest obstacles to learning in your institution?

The teachers’ biggest digital challenge is integrating technology in the curriculum (48.6%). Sometimes the tools are there, but you have to figure out how to make them compatible with a curriculum that is not tech-friendly. Also, lack of IT support (44.2%) shows that teachers are usually left to their own devices (metaphorically and literally).

online teaching tools survey
What are your biggest digital learning challenges?

50% see themselves as very effective at using digital tools for teaching, while the other half think they are either somewhat or not effective.

online teaching tools survey
How effective are you at using digital tools for teaching?

As a result from all the above, most teachers’ learning goals are to integrate technology into their curriculum (76.8%), and to boost student motivation (76.5%).

online teaching tools survey
What are your digital learning goals?

Teachers’ assessment of edtech in general is that it has an overall positive impact on the learning process and student achievement (91.8%).

online teaching tools survey
How does digital learning impact student achievement?

If you want a detailed list of the most up-to-date digital and online tools for teachers, download the ebook The Best Digital Tools for Teachers.

The best digital teacher tools

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Education born and bred. I have worked as a teacher for many private language schools, as a test centre administrator, as a teacher trainer, as an educational consultant, and as a publisher. I am an advocate for literacy and a huge proponent of using technology in the classroom. I mostly write about English Language Teaching. I live in Oxford.


  1. Interesting data and analysis Savas, As an online professional tutor (English, French, 11Plus, 13Plus) myself I have been impressed on how children take to learning online like ducks to water and also the considerable advantages of internet teaching compared to traditional in person teaching:) I foresee more and more learners turning to this in the future particularly with health threats present as is sadly the case presently.Thanks for sharing these insights with us Savas.


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