Trends: Digital Districts – March 2011

The latest report on technology use in school districts is out. Findings indicate that educators are increasingly using Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies—and with positive results. However, district policies and plans are lagging behind in addressing the barriers to widespread and effective adoption of these tools in the classroom, including student safety, professional development, and technology support systems. This suggests that Web 2.0 use in schools is largely being driven from the bottom up and district leadership to bridge the gap between IT and curriculum is lacking. Research  was conducted by IESD on behalf of Lightspeed Systems, netTrekker and Atomic Learning. More than 380 district technology directors were surveyed. Student safety and lack of teacher knowledge about how to use Web 2.0 effectively remain issues for many districts. The three companies partnered on a joint initiative to help schools using Web 2.0. They first surveyed school districts in 2009 on current status, future plans and ongoing Web 2.0 and collaborative technology challenges.”While the survey results are promising, it also indicates areas of needed improvements to ensure school districts can meet the individual learning needs of the Net Generation,” says Jay Sivin-Kachala, VP and lead researcher for IESD. Key findings from this year’s survey, along with a comparison with results from the 2009 survey, are detailed in the report, “Digital Districts: Web 2.0 and Collaborative Technologies in  U.S. Schools,” available at www.digitaldistrictsurvey.com

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