Students now have more devices than ever, making it more challenging to measure whether these technologies are being used correctly in the classroom and how they are affecting student outcomes.
“Over the years, we have seen a lot of things change,” said Wendy Jones, educational strategist for CDW•G, during her session at the Consortium for School Networking’s 2019 annual conference. “We have seen an increase in devices, we’ve seen an increase in access to applications and we’ve seen an increase in information.”
While accessing technology once required a multistep process and was severely limited in the classroom, 74 percent of K–12 schools say they now have more than one device per student, according to a CoSN report.
There are numerous benefits to having the latest education technology, but integrations can pose some challenges for schools as well, Jones noted.
“How do you really justify technology?” Jones asked in her session. “Whenever I have asked that, I have thought about how you know you’ve made an impact.”
K–12 Schools Can Measure Technology ROI Through New Dashboard
In order to measure how effective a technology is, it is important to have enough data to see how well students are using certain tools and what they are using them for.
Many schools send out surveys or use current Lightspeed systems to collect and analyze technology impact and use.
In a new collaboration announced at the CoSN 2019 conference, CDW•G and Lightspeed have teamed up to offer schools a dashboard that can consolidate the information schools need into one hub.
“As education strategists, we were talking about the frustration of wanting to have a conversation that can make a difference,” said Jones. “We needed the tools to say, ‘Is this investment that a school is going through making a difference?”
The dashboard, Analytics Powered by Relay, allows schools to monitor how often devices are used, ensure student data privacy, make digital resources equitable, measure changes in student outcomes and measure how much time is being spent using school resources.
Using the dashboard, schools will be able to look at trends within their schools and across districts to see what technologies and strategies are working and which are not worth investing in for another year, said Jones.
“This gives us the power to be able to say, ‘How do we make data-driven decisions based on what is being utilized or what is not being utilized?” said Jones. “I am excited as an educational strategist; this is a journey I get to take and to show that we are making an impact, because here is the data to show it.”
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