Only 45 per cent of schools feel they're providing good quality digital learning for students
Fewer than half of principals at intermediate and primary schools have the resources to support good-quality learning for children using digital devices, while most parents believe the use of digital technology in their children's learning is important, research shows.
Teachers and principals responding to a survey by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research also said digital technology was having a positive impact on children's learning, particularly students with special needs.
The report released on Tuesday showed that principals consider the cost of maintaining and replacing digital technologies as the second biggest issue in their schools across the board, second only to too much being asked of schools in general.
The report is part of a wider survey of schools carried out last year covering a broad range of issues. The information gathered was being released in a series of reports, report author Rachel Bolstad said.
* Survey shows not all students have access to digital devices
* Costs of back to school supplies around New Zealand
* 'Bring your own device' worries Marlborough parents
* Many pupils told they can 'bring-your-own-device'
* Classrooms flooded with devices
Overall there was a positive view of what digital technologies could do for children and their learning, Bolstad said.
Newtown School principal Mark Brown said the school realised digital technology could enhance learning but it did not necessarily have enough machines to do that effectively.
It was not a "bring your own device" or BYOD school, and had one device to every four students, which were leased through the Ministry of Education.
As soon as children started school they could use applications on devices that enhanced their learning, whether it be reading, writing or maths.
Devices were also good for students with learning difficulties, who might not have "succeeded with a pen and paper".
Rata St School principal Dave Appleyard said digital technology was changing so fast the focus was more on making sure kids were adaptable and inquisitive.
"What kids are working on now are not going to be the devices they're using in a few years time."
It was not about them being skilful on a particular device, but being taught so they could use whatever technology would be available in the future.
The Government was committed to making sure schools were equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, that teachers got the support and resources they needed, and that every student would benefit from the advantages of digital technologies for learning, Education Minister Nikki Kaye said.
It had invested more than $700 million towards digital infrastructure in schools, and $60m in professional learning and development for teachers, with digital fluency one of five priority areas.
A portion of schools' operations grant was intended to help schools cover IT costs, like hardware and software. Schools could choose how to use that money.
Kaye said a 2015 OECD report identified New Zealand in the top ten OECD countries in terms of ICT use at school.