When IT teams are evaluating technologies for the classroom, the teacher's perspective shouldn’t be discounted. Teachers have a unique — and likely the best-informed — view of which tools will engage students and which will be distracting.
Our inaugural event for IT leaders in K–12 kicks off in November in Orlando, and we have an incredible lineup of information-packed sessions, workshops, and keynotes from CIOs and CISOs representing districts from across the country.
Here are five steps that we took to ensure a smooth transition away from email, phone calls, and paper and over to a single, unified school-home communications platform.
"Ed tech whiplash," or the constant addition and removal of tech solutions in schools, is a real issue and has been negatively impacting teachers and students for years. During the 2022–23 school year alone, K–12 school districts accessed, on average, 2,591 different ed tech tools. As a former director of technology in public education, I saw educators struggle to keep up with the always-growing list of ed tech tools being implemented in their schools. And I also saw teachers become heavily invested in solutions that improved efficiency and efficacy in their classrooms, only for the solution to be removed within a short time due to a lack of "ROI." This type of back and forth is not only frustrating for teachers, but it leaves students with a lack of consistency in their learning environment.
Since ChatGPT's introduction last autumn, educators have been thinking through the potential impact of generative AI on education. While its full transformative potential remains uncertain, AI shows promise for teachers grappling with resource constraints and demanding workloads. Here’s a closer look at the concurrent AI landscape in schools — and a prediction of what the future holds.
Students’ unique mental health challenges require all stakeholders to work closely and collaboratively to help all students thrive physically, emotionally, and academically. With school social workers, teachers, counselors, and administrators already working exceptionally hard to support their students, ed tech solutions will play an important role in helping schools meet students where they are, providing effective solutions that enable impact at scale.
- By Gary Pettengell
Districts seeking to optimize their IT, and specifically, their cybersecurity efforts, must focus on deploying common sense tools and operational resilience plans that will help defend against cyber attacks as well as respond in the wake of a successful hack.
When we started using a new literacy program 10 years ago, our reading scores were mediocre. Within a few years we had moved up to being a Level 1+ school, which is one of the highest rankings for Chicago Public Schools’ rating system (which is currently being replaced with a new system). We’re using the literacy program as a main component for grades K–5 and then another program for fifth graders.
- By Jennifer O'Sullivan
Facilitative leadership can help academic communities support success and promote holistic outcomes. The timing for this type of approach is especially important as schools look to re-energize staff, restore trust, and find new ways to support the changing needs of students in today’s post-pandemic learning environment.
- By Chris Williams
Ransomware is the most significant cyber threat in the education sector, and K–12 schools and colleges and universities are both targets.