Keeping up momentum

students working on laptop in classroom

Published: October 4th, 2021

US State of Technology Report 2021/22 | How positive changes to school IT usage can be maintained in 2022

While IT directors have been tackling digital inequity, many teachers have felt overburdened by the challenges of remote teaching and tech access issues. It’s been uncertain whether they still see tech as a force for good, or if it’s just an extra effort they’d rather do without. Will edtech usage decline if educators return to traditional teaching methods they find more manageable and reliable? Or do educators want to deepen their reliance on edtech to support their productivity and students’ engagement?

The latest stats paint a positive picture. The 2021/22 US State of Technology in Education Report confirms nearly three-quarters of educators (72%) constantly strive to innovate by using technology. As for teachers specifically? Most share this attitude, and 91% say their confidence has increased over the past year. The foundations are laid to advance tech’s role in empowering teaching and learning objectives, but how can IT managers help maintain this momentum?

Move with the tech times

The edtech landscape continues to proliferate into a rich wealth of apps, platforms, and tools — there’s a lot to choose from! Unless you’re staying informed on the latest trends, it’s easy to make less savvy choices which won’t deliver maximum value. You could be misled by overly futuristic fads or redundant relics when there are modern, purpose-built solutions designed to deliver your day-to-day school goals.

“I am finding that there are many technological options for educational use. Therefore, my colleagues and I have had to choose those tools we think are most effective to use with our students, limiting our tools to those that give us the best outcomes for the amount of effort it takes to use them.”

Teacher, Private K-12 school, Alabama

At the core of identifying the right tech is staying attuned to current staff and student needs. This way, you won’t waste staff time with gratuitous gimmicks, but can be guided by their preferences and unique classroom setups to find the best tools and investment options. It’s also fundamental to look for ease-of-use. For you, this might mean remote management and over-the-air updates, while for your teachers it’s about intuitive user interfaces and purchasing from a company who offers continuous product support. Easy-to-use tech ensures educators can start experiencing the benefits immediately, as well as over time. Front-of-class tech like the ActivPanel provides both, supporting educators and IT managers alike in reaping the benefits of EdTech from the moment of installation.

Choose trustworthy tech

For teachers to strengthen EdTech synergies that streamline their teaching, they need stability and assurance. To achieve this, and to ensure long-term value and ROI, your tech needs to be durable. Quality and durability prevent constantly breaking teachers’ use patterns with frequent repairs or rollouts of new tech that they have to readjust to. Likewise, you won’t be disrupting familiar features in the classroom which students become accustomed to interacting with.

“It’s never ending. Just as I become familiar with a form of technology, it changes or something new is added.”

Teacher, Public Elementary School, California

Reliable technology facilitates staff and students’ growing confidence and trust in leading industry names like Promethean and the ActivPanel — proven to deliver significant economic and productivity benefits. And alongside it all, you’ll establish coherent and reliable EdTech infrastructure throughout your school — accessible across the entire staff — as well as wise, cost-effective investments in the eyes of the school leaders.

Take it to the top

Your efforts, findings, and results all need feeding back to stakeholders and into an IT-specific strategy interconnected with your school’s overarching one. This means staff’s favored approaches are communicated, carried forward, and catered for, while issues are prioritized and combated. You’ll also help direct training to the right areas to bolster confidence and address weaknesses.

Consequently, teachers will see edtech less as a school leader’s interest and more as a supportive mechanism they have influence in shaping. Simultaneously, administrators will keep an awareness of how edtech is working for staff and will be more incentivized to commit to it, building the value case and buy-in as a long-term priority.

What other positive edtech changes can you make?

The 2021/22 US State of Technology in Education Report contains insight and candid opinions from teachers, IT staff and school leaders on their tech challenges and most popular tools. For a first-hand account of the areas it’s delivering the greatest impact and where it’s falling short, read the report now.