The fourth annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report was recently released during CoSN’s (Consortium for School Networking) annual conference, revealing some of the main issues IT leaders are facing heading into 2016.
“There is innovative change happening in our schools. But with this digital transformation is a new frontier of challenges confronting IT administrators,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, in a press release. “The education community should know what is top of mind for school IT leaders so we can better support their leadership capacity and advance learning outcomes empowered through technology.”
The Top 10 Findings:
- Broadband and network capacity is the top priority for IT leaders.
- Privacy and security of student data is an increasing concern for IT leaders. 64% said privacy and security are more important than they were last year.
- Districts are turning to digital learning materials. Nearly 90 percent of respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50 percent digital within the next three years.
- Ninety-nine percent expect to incorporate digital Open Educational Resources (OER) over the next three years, with 45 percent expecting their digital content to be at least 50 percent OER within that timeframe.
- Nearly 80 percent of IT leaders use online productivity tools – the largest use of cloud-based solutions in education.
- District bans on student devices are shrinking – only 11 percent have banning policies.
- The path to IT leadership differs for women and men. While 36 percent of respondents were women (compared to 27 percent in IT positions in schools and districts nationally), the vast majority of women come from educational / instructional backgrounds (72 percent). The majority of men (54 percent) come from technology / technical backgrounds.
- Racial diversity in IT leadership is lacking. Ninety-percent of school IT leaders are white.
- IT leaders have advanced education, with 75 percent earning some college beyond their bachelor’s degree.
- Demographics are changing. More than one-third of IT leaders plan to retire in the next six years.
While only the first six issues are likely to impact your sales, it’s good to have a holistic understanding of all the priorities K-12 IT leaders have for 2016.