The pandemic produced a variety of challenges that K12 leaders still face today, including an explosion of edtech tools—many of which are still in their infancy—that they have to navigate to determine which ones prove the most beneficial for their teachers and students. Additionally, the 2022-23 school year was the first “normal” school year, which allowed districts to take practices and solutions adopted during the pandemic and carry them forward. But there’s still room for growth, a new report finds.
PowerSchool, a leading provider of cloud-based software in K12 education, released this week its “2023 Education Focus Report,” an in-depth look at the perspectives of more than 1,750 K12 district leaders, educators and administrators who offer insight on some of the latest trends impacting education.
The report, which is broken up into four key research areas (transforming the student learning experience, supporting educators and instruction, partnering with parents and caretakers in student learning, and solving for the future with usable data), reveals what emerged as some of the most pressing issues during the 2022-23 school year. Most notably, the researchers asked leaders what they identified as their greatest challenges surrounding education technology. Here’s what they said:
Top four edtech challenges among school leaders
- Keeping students on task academically
- Incorporating technology effectively
- Juggling several digital tools needed for teaching and learning
- Lack of professional development for education technology
Top four challenges among district leaders
- Connecting data across systems
- Professional development for teachers and staff
- Achieving a “whole child” data analytics view
- Giving teachers actionable data to support their students
“We in leadership need to think differently about what our users—educators, support staff, parents—need out of data,” said Ryan Gravette, director of information and technology at the Idaho Digital Learning Acadamy in Idaho, one of several survey-takers featured in the report. “So when you think about data, think about what is useful. There’s a lot of informational data. You must parse that from what’s actionable.”
Other key findings
- 53% of district leaders see the value of AI for teaching and learning, compared to 44% of school-level educators.
- More than 90% of K12 leaders agree that recruiting and retaining “good teachers” is harder than it’s ever been before.
- The majority of educators say tech is streamlined to communicate with parents and families. However, 70% of parents report having to navigate between two and six systems to access information relevant to what their child is learning.
- A mere 20% of educators feel “they absolutely can say” what student interventions are working and have relevant data to back it up.