Mobile Computing | Research

Report: Most District Tech Leaders Want 1:1 Deployment or Expansion

The vast majority, 84.3 percent, of district technology leaders have a "high level of interest" in implementing or expanding a one-to-one mobile program in their districts, though only 12.1 percent currently have one-to-one classrooms in their districts, according to the National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education.

The largest barrier to adoption of mobile devices is financial, according to the report, which found that 77.5 percent of respondents representing low-level adopting and non-adopting districts citing cost as one of the biggest hurdles, and 50 percent identifying a lack of infrastructure for mobile technology support. Other barriers to mobile deployment cited include difficulty of device management, at 37.5 percent, difficulty of integration with instruction, and security concerns, both at 25 percent.

When asked to identify up to three benefits of mobile device deployments for student engagement, from a list of 12, respondents most commonly chose student engagement, at 62.2 percent, and personalized instruction, at 42.9 percent. Given a similar question about what benefits they expected, respondents again cited engagement and personalization most often, at 27 and 21.2 percent, respectively.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Participants reporting that their district had mobile devices in three-quarters of their classrooms rose more than 10 percent over last year's report, from 23.4 to 35.8 percent;
  • Most respondents, 59.6 percent, told surveyors that at least a quarter of the schools in their district had adopted mobile technology;
  • Among those whose districts had already adopted mobile technology, 51.4 percent said a cart of devices was shared mong multiple classrooms and 24.5 percent said some or all classrooms had a small number of devices shared among students;
  • Seventy-one percent of technology leaders surveyed reported a stong interest in purchasing tablets for classroom use;
  • When given an opportunity to describe the greatest challenge their district faced with a mobile implementation, respondents whose districts had already or would soon deploy devices were most likely to describe issues around device management, at 26.6 percent, and professional development and implementation support for teachers, at 19.2 percent;
  • Among respondents from districts with only one or a few schools with mobile device programs, 93.4 percent said they were very likely or somewhat likely to expand those programs to additional schools in the next year or two and less than one percent said they were very unlikely to do so; and
  • Nearly a third, 31.6 percent, of all respondents said their district was very likely or somewhat likely to adopt mobile technology in the next year or two.

The survey was based on responses from 558 district technology leaders. All respondents indicated that they were district instructional technology directors or coordinators, information technology directors, CIOs, CTOs, or media directors. The report is the second in an annual series and was produced by Interactive Educational Systems Design in collaboration with STEM Market Impact.

For more information, or to download the full report, visit

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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