Aug 11 2020

Here Are the Top Five ‘Tech Enablers’ in K–12 Education

These technologies are enabling innovation in schools, according to the Consortium for School Networking.

Digital collaboration platforms and tools for online privacy and safety are the most important “tech enablers” for K–12 schools this year, according to “Driving K–12 Innovation: 2020 Tech Enablers,” a new report by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Analytics and adaptive technologies, cloud infrastructure and mobile devices were also highlighted as Tech Enablers in the report.

How Schools Can Drive Teaching and Learning Innovation

The report defines tech enablers as tools that can help schools and districts overcome hurdles to teaching and learning innovation, such as the lack of data privacy and digital equity.

While they were selected by CoSN’s Advisory Board late last year, these tech enablers are even more important now as educators continue to navigate the pandemic’s impact on schools, according to the report.

“In today’s COVID-19 world, the importance of effective virtual learning environments has significantly increased,” Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, said in a press release. “CoSN’s Tech Enablers report will help school systems determine the technology advancements that are critical for teaching and learning in 2020.”

READ MORE: Learn how to improve remote learning experiences for students.

For example, digital collaboration platforms connect learners and teachers, allow for unique learning experiences and help students develop digital and career-relevant skills, according to the report. But implementing this technology also comes with challenges, such as teacher training.

“There is definitely a learning curve anytime school districts adopt technology that will be used in classrooms,” said Eileen Belastock, director of technology and information at Massachusetts’ Mount Greylock Regional Schools, in the report. “Professional development needs to be thoughtfully planned and executed to ensure that the teachers have the skills and strategies to use the software effectively with students.”

MORE ON EDTECH: These tips can make virtual PD more effective.

Meanwhile, online privacy and safety tools, such as web filters and privacy settings in apps, are essential to securing digital spaces and systems.

“In today’s environment of what seems to be weekly data breaches and ransomware attacks against school districts, ensuring the tools, policies and procedures that can help protect students and staff is critically important,” says Joe Catania, director of data management and technology at Washingtonville Central School District in New York.

To learn more about the tech enablers, view the full report on CoSN’s website here.

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