The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has released its latest Spotlight research report, the second edition in a 2-part series about educational technology (edtech) in Australia and the impact it has on our teachers, classrooms and students. 

Purpose of the report

As part of AITSL’s work supporting excellence in teaching, school leadership and initial teacher education nationally, AITSL regularly produces Spotlight reports examining facets of education in Australia.

Evaluating the evidence for educational technology: Part 2 – enabling learning looks at the impacts of edtech in Australia. It examines the state of digital literacy in Australian schools, how edtech can support diverse learners, what promotes effective use of edtech, and possible drawbacks including distraction and the potential for bullying. 

This report aims to keep Australia’s teachers and leaders informed about technologies that may impact their profession. As well as the latest evidence and research, the report has handy resource lists for teachers and leaders to use in their daily practice.

Key findings

  • Despite the increase in the availability of edtech, Australian students’ digital literacy skills have decreased over time.
  • Students need to be taught the skills relevant to acquiring digital literacy: practising digital safety and wellbeing, investigation, creating and exchanging, and managing and operating content.
  • Implemented well, edtech has the potential to deliver greater benefits to several student cohorts, including those with disabilities, those learning remotely, and students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 
  • However, despite the likely benefits, there are potential drawbacks associated with the overuse of technology, including the negative effects of screen time on student learning, as well as indirect effects (such as impacts on anxiety and social relationships). 
  • A teacher’s confidence and ability to use edtech can have a significant impact on student outcomes.


“Our Spotlight shows that edtech can enhance student outcomes when used by a skilled teacher.” 

“To effectively embed technology, teachers need ongoing professional learning and support – both technical and administrative – and sufficient time to plan for its integration in their teaching.” 

– Edmund Misson, Acting CEO


Media enquiries: 0421 187 894

Notes for EditorsThe Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides national leadership for the Australian, state and territory governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership. AITSL is predominantly funded by the Australian Government.