SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Common Core State Standards, which all but five states across the United States have presently adopted, are designed to ensure that students have the necessary skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the classroom, college and beyond. To that end, a critical element of Common Core is technology that supports teaching, learning and student assessment. According to a new report, the majority of K-12 IT professionals say that meeting the technology requirements of Common Core is one of their top priorities – if not the top priority.
At the ISTE Annual Conference, CDW-G, a leading provider of technology solutions to education, government and healthcare, today presented the results of its latest education research, “Common Core Tech.” Among the 300 K-12 IT professionals surveyed, 83 percent noted that meeting the Common Core technology requirements for the online student assessment mandate and improved instruction was among their top three IT priorities – and 29 percent said it was the top IT priority. Additionally, more than three-fourths of IT professionals believe that Common Core will have a positive impact on their district, especially in the areas of improved on-demand student data analysis (81 percent) and new and improved classroom technologies (79 percent and 78 percent, respectively).
“There is a great deal of excitement around Common Core and the potential it holds for students and educators to measurably improve education,” said Julie Smith, vice president of K-12 education at CDW-G. “Likewise, our conversations with our customers – and the report findings – tell us that from an IT perspective, districts are still working hard so that they can support Common Core with the appropriate technology and be ready for the 2014/2015 online assessment mandate.”
While IT professionals have a positive outlook on Common Core, they noted a number of concerns that may impact their ability to meet the technology requirements. Lack of budget (76 percent) and lack of IT staff (69 percent) top the list of challenges, but IT professionals are also concerned about having enough technology for online student assessment (62 percent) and having enough classroom technology for instruction (60 percent). Fifty-five percent of respondents also noted that they lacked a strong IT infrastructure or reliable wireless access – crucial elements of a strong educational technology program.
When it comes to overcoming challenges, CDW-G’s panelists at ISTE provided insightful advice for other districts to consider:
- Joanna Antoniou, technology coordinator, Passaic Public Schools, N.J.: “Professional development is so important in helping to overcome some of the challenges. We launched a successful professional development pilot program, where we worked exclusively with a small group of pilot teachers, who later began to turnkey to their colleagues. Our pilot teachers now run workshops and breakout sessions themselves based on the experience they’ve gained with Google Chromebooks.”
- Doug Renfro, instructional designer, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Tenn.: “Our IT department launched a two-year project to address infrastructure and wireless access, and our IT and learning technology departments now work hand-in-hand on projects.”
- Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director, SETDA: “We can be smarter about how we spend our money and think about flexibility in funds. The technology necessary for the new online assessments is also technology that we have to use for instruction and instructional materials. Approximately half the states have made significant policy changes to accelerate the shift from print to digital in instructional materials, including, in some states, allowing textbook funds to be used for technology. Money can be a challenge but traditional priorities can be adjusted with new funding flexibility.”
For more information about CDW-G’s Common Core Tech report, please visit www.CDWG.com/CommonCoreTech to download the report.
A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW LLC, ranked No. 31 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies and No. 267 on the Fortune 500, CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) is a leading provider of technology solutions to government, education and healthcare customers. The company features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s solutions architects and engineers offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.