Jan 21 2022

K–12 IT Leaders Take an Agile Approach to Education

In a constantly shifting educational landscape, bet on agile school systems to rise to the occasion.

With so much in education — and in the world we live in — still in flux, teachers have spent the past two years adjusting and readjusting to constant change. School leaders learned they must be ready to face staffing shortages, remote and in-person learning, and increasing cybersecurity breaches, all while continuing to deliver quality education.

In some ways, the mark of a school system’s ability to adapt or respond with agility comes down to strategy, structure, process, people and technology, according to McKinsey’s “The Five Trademarks of Agile Organizations.” In this issue, we feature several forward-thinking school systems that incorporate these five ideas to get their schools ready for anything.

RELATED: Chesterfield County Schools CTO speaks on tech's central role in education.

Ed Tech and Efforts to Serve K–12 Students

In our feature story “Network Defense,” K–12 technology leaders in the field and industry experts demonstrate agility through the best practices they use to secure their networks and protect their students. Craig Larsen, information systems administrator for Eastern Carver County Schools in Minnesota, says, “We’re constantly reviewing where we are in our plan. Things are changing all the time. It’s not a one-and-done process, not even close.”

At the height of the pandemic, school systems had to figure out how to serve dispersed student bodies with an increasing number of devices. Our article “Small Team, Big Impact” really shows what it looks like to have an agile team ready to serve. These relatively small IT teams combine people, processes and technology to distribute, track and support the rapidly growing number of student and educator devices every day.

“Our team is efficient and does an amazing job,” says Lori Hill, the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ technical applications coordinator. “And yet I can’t imagine managing this many devices without the tools we have in place.”

In this still-shifting educational landscape, agility in education is critical and something that all schools must address if they are to complete their mission of educating America’s future leaders, no matter what.

Ryan Petersen
Editor in Chief

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