IT leaders

IT leaders, admins still fear network attacks

Digital resources are widespread in classrooms, but IT leaders still struggle with protecting district networks

“Most administrators say the effective use of technology in school is extremely important to preparing students for the future,” says Dr. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “As more technology is introduced, and at a time when hacking is a serious concern in most industries, we see schools taking this issue very seriously. No one wants to put student data at risk.”

In addition to the 57 percent of district IT leaders struggling to keep access open while still protecting students, teachers, and staff, school IT leaders also grapple with a lack of technology expertise among teachers and administrators (55 percent), keeping up with the pace of technology adoption (43 percent), students and teachers circumventing existing policies (39 percent), and securing mobile devices both on and off premises (29 percent).

Fifty-five percent of IT and tech leaders in urban districts identify “safeguards to protect privacy of digital student data” as a top requirement when planning for new digital initiatives.

IT and technology leaders say the top 5 digital learning experiences in today’s classrooms include cloud-based communications and collaboration tools (85 percent), online assessments (77 percent), using student data to inform instruction (73 percent), social media use for communications with parents (65 percent), and digital content such as videos, animations, and simulations (54 percent).

In the future, IT and tech leaders predict a few key digital initiatives will grow faster than others in their districts: flipped learning (54 percent), blended learning (53 percent), competency-based learning (47 percent), OER (44 percent), online PD for teachers (43 percent), digital games within instruction (42 percent), and 1:1 mobile devices in class (37 percent).

An overwhelming 97 percent of district administrators say effective use of instructional technology in school is important for preparing students for future success.

Laura Ascione

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