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Study Shows Schools Want More Tech, Lower Costs

A survey of education professionals conducted by Luidia, Inc. shows that educators across the country want to reduce their costs while getting more tech in the hands of students.

techThis type of goal conflict, which puts administrators in an unenviable position, is nothing new to Danielle Kazoroski, technology associate at Quest Elementary School in Melbourne, FL.

“I cannot ignore the transformative power of technology I have witnessed across my classrooms,” Kazoroski said. “Even in light of tighter budgets, Principal Elia Lea and I have made purchasing interactive technologies a high priority. In addition to going out into the community to do additional, personal fundraising, we’ve fundamentally updated our purchasing criteria to ensure we fully maximize investments. We don’t even consider a tool unless it integrates with current technologies and existing environments, as well as demonstrates ability to adapt easily to future potential needs.”

The Luidia survey’s top two findings indicate that 91 percent of educators cited budget/cost as a significant challenge, while 73 percent wanted technology to increase student engagement. Across the nation, schools are forced to do more with less; however, the appetite for new technology among district administrators, teachers and students remains at an all-time high. Educators are using creative strategies to balance the need for new, innovative classroom technologies with the reality of tightening budgets.

“Our survey findings match the individual conversations I've had in recent months with school administrators and teachers. Educators are rising to the challenge when it comes to adopting new strategies—even fundraising to get technology into classrooms,” said Jody Forehand, vice president of product planning at Luidia. “To prepare our students for an increasingly competitive and digital work environment, it’s vital for educators to have access to tools that advance student engagement and achievement.”

To address budget challenges, educators are proactively adopting new purchasing strategies such as:

  • Examining the total cost of ownership for technology purchases, including installation, maintenance and training.
  • Maximizing investments by purchasing technologies that can easily integrate with current tools and systems.
  • Buying portable systems that can move easily across campus so that classrooms are not split between “haves” and “have-nots.”
  • Migrating to open solutions that allow schools to remain flexible long term, instead of proprietary systems that lock users into short-sighted approaches.
  • Adopting retrofittable techologies that help schools avoid costly rip-and-replace installments.

Additional Luidia Technology Survey 2012 Results

91 percent of respondents identified budget/cost as a challenge. Other secondary barriers were:

  1. Hard for teachers/administration to use (20%)
  2. Proprietary systems (10%)
  3. Portability (10%)
  4. Difficult to install (6%)
  5. Hard for students to use (3%)

73 percent of education professionals want technology to increase student engagement, first and foremost. Others hope technology will help them:

  1. More easily develop curriculum (9%)
  2. Provide materials for continued learning (7%)
  3. Correct negative behavior (1%)
  4. Other (less than 1%)

73 percent of respondents received training on a new educational technology received in the past year; 17 percent received no training and 10 percent received no new technology.

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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