2017 promises to be a busy year for educators, who face unknown accountability requirements under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which may face revisions through March, and unknown changes under a new administration and education secretary. At the K12 level, educators are still challenged to demonstrate meaningful use of technology in the classroom and ensure digital equity among all students.
The Learning Counsel’s Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey suggests that 86% of K12 schools are looking to spend more on digital curriculum in 2017, findings that are also mirrored in higher education in a recent Pearson Education survey that found 84% of students, teachers, and administrators believe that digital course materials in higher education would help make education more affordable and would improve learning and teaching opportunities.
Today, when we talk about technology in the classroom, we are not just talking about tablets or laptops with isolated opportunities to work with individual apps or programs. Success does not come from “throwing technology into a classroom,” as a recent eSchool News article pointed out. Today, K-12 schools across the country are demonstrating the potential of technology to support individualized learning and skills development for an interconnected world. Many schools are moving toward integrated digital platforms to oversee homework, encourage student/teacher collaboration, and create new avenues of learning.
With the advances in technology available in education, the question then becomes how to ensure technology investments are contributing to student performance, how to ensure investments and student data remain secure, and how to satisfy government funding initiatives for technology. EdTech recently listed school data analytics as one of the 3 Biggest K-12 Tech Trends for 2017.
K12 schools are now collecting more data than ever before, with the question remaining just how to translate this data into meaningful information. A “data-driven” school would be able to leverage information on student performance and attendance to have a meaningful impact on student outcomes and to ensure technology investments line up with education goals.
It’s critical to ensure our students have the skills and intelligence to compete on the world stage by helping secure not only the technology assets, but by securing the funding and insights that help shape student development now and in the future.
Absolute provides an easy-to-deploy Student Technology Analytics tool that provides amazingly detailed reporting into effective technology utilization rates -- a key component in measuring learning outcomes -- and helps districts meet compliance requirements around Internet safety policies.
We'll be talking about the platform and more at this year's SXSWedu conference, scheduled for March 6-9 in Austin, Texas. We will be headlining discussions on the correlation between Student Data Analytics and Learning and How to Address Data Risks in K-12 Schools. Find out more about our sessions here -- we hope to see you in Austin!