School superintendents and curriculum directors aren’t the only K-12 administrators worried about the changes being ushered in with the Common Core standards: In a recent survey, 83 percent of ed-tech leaders said preparing for Common Core assessments is among their top three priorities—and 62 percent fear they won’t have enough IT infrastructure to support online testing.
The survey of 300 school IT professionals comes from CDW-G, which released the results of its poll on what ed-tech leaders think about the Common Core standards during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio last week.
The Common Core State Standards, which all but five U.S. states have adopted, are designed to ensure that students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college and the workforce. To that end, a critical element of the Common Core is technology that supports teaching, learning, and student assessment—and ed-tech leaders are feeling the pressure this entails.
(Next page: Key ed-tech challenges in preparing for the Common Core)
While more than four in five ed-tech leaders surveyed said preparing for the Common Core standards and assessments is among their top three priorities, 29 percent said it was their No. 1 priority.
More than three-fourths of school IT professionals believe the Common Core will have a positive impact on their district, especially in the areas of improved student data analysis (81 percent) and new classroom technologies (79 percent).
While school IT leaders voiced support for the Common Core, they noted a number of concerns that could affect their ability to meet the standards’ ed-tech requirements. Lack of budget (76 percent) and lack of IT staff (69 percent) topped the list of challenges, but school IT leaders are also concerned about having enough technology for online student assessment (62 percent) and having enough classroom technology for instruction (60 percent).
Fifty-five percent of respondents also noted that they lacked a strong IT infrastructure or reliable wireless access—crucial elements of a strong ed-tech program.
“There is a great deal of excitement around the Common Core and the potential it holds for students and educators to measurably improve education,” said Julie Smith, vice president of K-12 education at CDW-G. “[But] our conversations with our customers—and the report’s findings—tell us that from an IT perspective, districts are still working hard so that they can support the Common Core with the appropriate technology and be ready for the 2014-15 online assessment mandate.”
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