7 facts about the state of edtech in schools

School networks are getting faster and more modern, but school IT leaders and IT departments struggle to keep up with the demand for remote access and support, according to an annual CoSN survey.

The State of EdTech District Leadership 2022 survey provides a high-level sense of what school district leaders think of the state of technology in education. The 2022 K-12 IT Leadership Survey is CoSN’s ninth annual survey and was made possible by the Ed-Fi Alliance and CDW-G, conducted in partnership with MCH DataK12 Insight and AASA.

“There are no lack of challenges facing our nation’s schools today, but the annual CoSN IT survey also shines a light on several areas where we can be encouraged; increased connectivity, more devices, increased awareness of security and the outsized impact that IT leaders are having on their school districts’ planning processes,” said Troy Wheeler, president of the Ed-Fi Alliance. …Read More

Safely embracing digital learning with managed network security

Digital learning surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it isn’t going away with the return to in-person classrooms. After experimenting with new approaches for in-classroom, at-home, or hybrid learning, it’s clear that technology’s use will continue to evolve as a means to improve student engagement and the overall learning experience. However, as K-12 schools increase their reliance on technology and more devices connect to their networks, cybersecurity threats are also rising.

A recent study from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) found that schools may not be prepared enough for these risks. The CoSN 2021 Ed Tech Leadership Survey found that while cybersecurity was ranked as a top priority for school district IT leaders, 77 percent of districts don’t have a full-time employee dedicated to network security and over half (59 percent) don’t have a cybersecurity plan in place. One potential solution to help resource-lean IT departments is using managed services for network security.

Cybersecurity attacks, such as data breaches and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, may disrupt learning, cost schools significant time and money to repair, and impact the schools’ reputations. …Read More

11 facts about K-12 IT leadership

Broadband access and the ever-growing equity gap are among K-12 IT leaders’ top concerns, according to CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey.

The survey, released in collaboration with the Ed-Fi Alliance and other partners, is based on a national survey of nearly 400 school systems and provides a nuanced look at the challenges K-12 IT leadership has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were proud to once again work alongside the CoSN team in developing this report,” said Sean Casey, manager of strategic partnerships at the Ed-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to helping school districts and states achieve data interoperability. “At Ed-Fi, our goal is to define data standards to solve problems shared by all educators and to arm the learning community with useful information, as found in this report, for conscientious decision-making that leads to better outcomes for learners everywhere.”…Read More

4 things we need to realize about digital equity

As COVID made quite painfully clear, student access to reliable high-speed internet and engaging digital tools is essential. But many students don’t have access to these resources at school, at home, or both, leading to larger questions about the role of digital equity and student success during–and after–the pandemic.

A new CoSN study, supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, gives educators and policymakers a detailed view of students’ at-home learning experiences during the pandemic.

“Digital equity is not a new topic for CoSN. Since our founding, we have focused on addressing the digital divide and ensuring that fast connectivity, devices and equitable use happen in all classrooms. But since March 2020, the imperative of this outside-of-school challenge has become readily apparent to all. The Homework Gap was a chasm for millions of students and educators as the shift to remote learning occurred,” write Keith Krueger, CoSN’s CEO, and Steve Langford, chair of CoSN’s Board of Directors and the CIO of Oregon’s Beaverton School District, in the report’s introduction.…Read More

11 facts about today’s K-12 IT leadership

Broadband access and the ever-growing equity gap are among K-12 IT leaders’ top concerns, according to CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey.

The survey, released in collaboration with the Ed-Fi Alliance and other partners, is based on a national survey of nearly 400 school systems and provides a nuanced look at the challenges K-12 IT leadership has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were proud to once again work alongside the CoSN team in developing this report,” said Sean Casey, manager of strategic partnerships at the Ed-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to helping school districts and states achieve data interoperability. “At Ed-Fi, our goal is to define data standards to solve problems shared by all educators and to arm the learning community with useful information, as found in this report, for conscientious decision-making that leads to better outcomes for learners everywhere.”…Read More

Talking tech: Enabling digital transformation through collaboration

There’s no question that digital transformation is dramatically shifting the education landscape. In the Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) 2019 survey, 55 percent of respondents say they have implemented 1:1 programs in their schools. This is a significant increase from the 2014 survey which showed that only 23 percent of schools had implemented a 1:1 program. Yet we know that digital transformation is about more than just the technology that powers it. While devices and software are becoming a ubiquitous part of the modern classroom, digital transformation is a robust ecosystem that combines this new technology with an effective implementation strategy.

Typically, the digital agenda is led from the top down – school or district administrations are, in large part, responsible for championing a digital transformation strategy. I’ve spoken to many educators over the years who have shared their experiences with the tech adoption process. Time after time, I’ve found that administrators who combine a culture of strong leadership and a clear strategy are best poised to drive digital advancement in their respective schools.

Related content: Tips to help IT teams manage digital transformation…Read More

10 priorities for K-12 IT leaders

School districts are moving to highly digital ecosystems, and K-12 IT leaders have more and more to manage to ensure that teaching and learning can go on uninterrupted by failing or clunky technology.

CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey offers critical insight into what’s expected of today’s K-12 IT leaders. The survey’s findings help to identify areas where IT leaders might need more support and assistance as they work tirelessly to meet the IT needs of administrators, teachers, and students.

Related content: How school IT leaders can avoid a cyberattack…Read More

5 strategies to tackle the homework gap

Despite a brighter spotlight on digital equity, gaps still remain, including the troubling and persistent homework gap–but a newly-relaunched digital equity toolkit aims to highlight the important work districts across the nation are taking to address equity differences.

The 2014 Erate modernization helped a majority of schools meet the FCC’s short-term connectivity goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students, according to CoSN’s relaunched Digital Equity Initiative toolkit. But because classroom use of technology and digital resources is growing, a gap has continued to grow between students who have internet access at home and those who do not.

Related content: Tips for closing the homework gap…Read More

3 things I learned by accident at CoSN 2019

A few themes stood out at CoSN 2019–artificial intelligence, coding, and preparing students for 2030 are three that immediately come to mind. But as I attended more sessions, smaller–yet equally cool–bits of information jumped out at me.

I love attending conference sessions because I get to listen to educators and edtech leaders talk about what’s most important when it comes to helping students succeed and feel proud of their accomplishments.

Here are just a few of the new things I learned, or things that aren’t often talked about, at CoSN 2019:…Read More

5 edtech accelerators that are changing K-12

Five powerful edtech accelerators are influencing the skills and needs of K-12 students and educators, according to a new CoSN report released during the advocacy group’s 2019 conference.

These edtech accelerators are major disruptive shifts in the status quo that redefine the future of education and accelerate the pace of technological change. They vary in speed, speed, the report notes, with some suddenly appearing and others gradually becoming more important over several years.

The five accelerators are: learners as creators; data-driven practices; personalization; design thinking; and building the capacity of human leaders.…Read More