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Press Release



May 11, 2020
Contact: Christina Mazzanti

Association of American Educators Survey Reveals Majority of Educators Plan to Use Distance Learning Tools When Schools Reopen

Alexandria, VA – The Association of American Educators (AAE), a national professional association serving educators in all fifty states, today releases the first results of their Educator Survey on Distance Learning which includes responses from AAE members throughout the country. AAE’s survey revealed that many educators (48%) are using tools on which they have little training or experience and yet a majority of educators (67%) are planning to use these tools to enhance their traditional classroom when schools reopen. In fact, twice as many educators in the survey report their distance learning experience improving their opinion of distance learning (40%) compared with those who say their opinion of distance learning has declined during this experience (21%).

This survey addressed five critical areas of concern as educators faced the transition to distance learning in response to the Coronavirus. These key areas include satisfaction with communication from school and district leadership, experiences with various distance learning tools and platforms, preparation as a result of training and professional development, prioritization of equity and inclusion during distance learning, and educators’ opinions of policy regarding pre-existing online schools.

  • 48% of survey respondents reported that before March 2020, they rarely or never used the distance learning tools they are currently using, while 26% reported often or always using distance learning tools.

  • When asked what is the most significant problem related to school closures, the top answer (31%) was that educators felt too little training for distance learning was provided.

  • Effective communication is an asset to solving problems during school closures, with 71% of respondents reporting that administrators and instructional leaders are very accessible to them, and 43% of respondents shared feeling very well informed about decisions made at the district level.

  • Despite educators using tools without adequate training under extraordinary circumstances, 67% reported they will (43%) or might (24%) incorporate distance learning tools and techniques into their instruction when schools reopen, compared to only 9% who say they probably will not.

  • Responding to which tools educators use for distance learning, 55% of respondents are using synchronous, live online platforms like Zoom, and 74% of respondents are using asynchronous tools like Google Classroom and Schoology to deliver instruction (42% are using both methods).

  • Student engagement and access remains a major issue, with 56% of survey respondents listing either inadequate student participation/attendance (32%) or students’ lack of technology or parental support (24%) as the major obstacle in distance learning.

  • Regarding opinions of distance learning as a whole, 40% of survey respondents felt their opinion of distance learning had improved, whether they had or had not used distance learning in the past.

  • 70% of respondents reported their stress levels increased greatly or somewhat, but 98% of respondents agreed that they would get through this trying time, sharing optimism and hope in light of these unprecedented challenges.
“Educators responded heroically to the crisis of school closures,” noted AAE Executive Director Colin Sharkey. “They adapted their teaching with tools many of them were not trained to use to continue the learning in any way possible. Districts should embrace what educators report in these survey results, including a desire for more training and opportunities to integrate distance learning tools into traditional learning.”

AAE Foundation Director of Advocacy Kira Tookes added, “Our educators are seeing promise in the creativity, innovation, and autonomy offered by modernizing the classroom experience. We are proud to serve America’s educators and to amplify their voices on this and many other important issues.”

The AAE Educator Survey on Distance Learning was conducted online from April 2, 2020 through April 28, 2020. All AAE members, who are mostly public district and public charter school educators serving in all fifty states, were invited to participate in the survey. A total of 1,030 educators completed the survey.

Additional educator resources, distance learning content, and educator legal rights FAQ are available on the AAE Coronavirus Response and Resources page.

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources and many other benefits. Visit for more information.