Common Core, BYOD, assessments among districts’ budget priorities
eSchool News – January 22nd, 2015
Survey reveals that school districts are prioritizing ed-tech in the wake of more positive budget news
An annual report based on two large-scale surveys of education decision-makers reveals that school technology budgets are growing stronger, school leaders are seeking Common Core-aligned instructional materials, and there is a growing demand for tools that improve teaching and personalized learning.
The results come from MDR’s State of the K-12 Market 2014 report, conducted by the EdNET Research team. The report seeks to define important trends that will impact U.S. schools in the coming year.
Major findings reveal a reliance on digital resources and an expansion of access through mobile devices, implementation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, and one-to-one computing initiatives; increased experimentation with new instructional models; an uptick in preparation for online assessments; and fewer worries about budgets.
“Schools are more optimistic about their ed-tech budgets than they have been for the past few years,” said Kathleen Brantley, Director of EdNET Insight.
In fact, nearly 90 percent of districts anticipate their 2014-2015 technology budgets in hardware, software, teacher training, and technical support to stay the same or increase. Topping the list of their concerns are hardware/device purchases and infrastructure capacity, meaning bandwidth and wireless networks will influence purchasing decisions going forward.
A growing interest in one-to-one and BYOD programs is fueled in part by the rapid growth of mobile computing devices and the increased focus on personalized learning. Nearly half (44 percent) of all U.S. districts report that one-to-one computing is substantially implemented in high schools, 36 percent in middle schools, and 20 percent in elementary schools. Chromebooks have come on strong, with half of all surveyed districts citing implementation of these newer devices.