Recently, CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) published its annual report on the state of K12 EdTech leadership. The 2021 report is the result of nearly 400 EdTech Leaders answering questions related to cybersecurity, digital equity, leading technology during a pandemic, and demographics.
Related: check out this podcast episode with Arline Pique from Hamilton County ESC.
The 2020-2021 school year, amidst a global pandemic, exposed significant challenges related to broadband access for teachers and learners. After K12 schools shut down in March 2020, it wasn’t only the students and families who had limited access to the internet – it was teachers as well.
CoSN’s survey found that 95% of respondents provided some kind of off-campus service for increasing broadband access. Most commonly, schools provided their communities with Wi-Fi hotspots. Connectivity is not a new topics in the annual EdTech Leadership Survey, but it was certainly relevant in 2020.
In the spring of 2020, Vartek collaborated with school partners to secure, deploy, and manage these hotspots. And, they’re not a one-trick pony. These hotspots will get renewed to provide students and teachers with ongoing connectivity moving forward in a lot of our schools.
Another key finding was an increase in awareness around digital equity. This is not a new topic in K12 technology, but it was significantly exposed in 2020 due to the pandemic. “The ‘homework gap’ became an ‘everything gap’ that completely denied those students any access to instruction or resources provided online.”
Finally, the survey demonstrated the realization that districts are providing new services specifically designed to address pandemic issues. These services include contact training, device cleaning, temperature testing, and more. EdTech Leaders in schools stepped up to provide expertise, execution, and support of these new services.
Related: New Technology, Now What?
Over the past 18 months, Vartek has seen this shift in focus for K12 school communities. Education and technology were two industries that were wildly disrupted during this pandemic, and they were primed for it. Educators figured out new ways to reach learners where they were – whether in the buildings, online, or some combination of the two.
As we look forward to the 2021-2022 school year, what are some of the learnings or innovations that you wish to carry through in your school? Let us know!
Vartek Services is a professional services company partnering with K12 schools to provide IT Leadership, Implementation, and Technology Integration to enhance the teaching and learning environment.
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