The 3 Key Challenges Impeding K–12 Technology Implementation
The major challenges facing technology adoption in education haven’t
changed much over the years. But the priorities of school and
district technology leaders have.
According to a survey released this week by the Consortium
for School Networking (CoSN), the key challenges facing ed tech
have remained consistent for the last three year. Those are, in order
Budget constraints (the top barrier in six out of the last seven IT
surveys conducted by CoSN);
Lack of availability of relevant professional development/training;
The existence of silos, making effective communication difficult.
According to CoSN, the budget and professional development
constraints are intimately linked and cut across departments:
“Budgets are also directly linked to professional development (PD),
which is the number two challenge on the list. In the open-ended
answer section of the survey, respondents were asked about areas in
which they wished they had more time; they cited the need for PD for
all stakeholders — administrators, teachers, IT staff, as well as
the IT Leaders themselves.”
Meanwhile, the top priorities for technology leaders have shifted.
Ranking first in this year ‘s survey was data security (aka
cybersecurity), up from second place last year and third place the
“Cost-effective/smart budgeting” came in second. This priority
didn’t make the list in previous surveys.
Data-driven instruction and decision-making was the third-highest
priority in 2019, as it was in the previous year’s survey.
According to CoSN: “For the second straight year, cybersecurity has
the top spot on IT Leaders’ technology priority list. At a time
when school districts are collecting greater amounts of data, threats
to the security of that data are also increasing. Since 2016, there
have been over 400 reported K-12 cybersecurity incidents. IT Leaders
are well aware that their institutions are faced with the same
challenges as the corporate sector, but risks in K-12 may actually be
higher. According to a recent report, educational institutions are
specifically being targeted by global cybercrime organizations….”
The results were released during CoSN's annual conference, taking place this week in Portland, OR. The complete report is freely available at cosn.org.