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New technology continues to be the top challenge for IT Leaders, according to the 2018 National K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). The report found that new technology dominated several spots on the list of top challenges, including struggles with network capacity, cybersecurity, integrating technology into the classroom, and supporting digital learning environments.

CoSN is a professional association for school system technology leaders, providing thought leadership resources and advocacy related to digital equity, privacy, security, and leadership. This report examines the changing roles and responsibilities of the K-12 IT Leader, who not only supports technology infrastructure but who also plays “an integral role in shaping the learning environments for students.”

The report found that the IT environment of 2018 has shifted in response to several years of 1:1 and mobile learning initiatives dominating district initiatives. Today, IT Leaders face an increasingly complex device environment that is difficult to manage and secure. Broadband and network security and cybersecurity shared the top spot this year while integrating new technology into the classroom was listed as the top IT staffing challenge.

43% of respondents say their district is stretched too thin when it comes to integrating new technology into the classroom

The survey indicates that, behind integrating new technology into the classroom, staffing is also stretched thin in areas of network system maintenance, application maintenance and even basic installation of IT applications. The survey indicates that “IT Leaders can’t get to critical areas,” with over 75% of IT time is spent reacting to technical problems. We can imagine that with every device refresh, these problems will only increase.

IT Leaders Need Tools & Processes to Better Manage Their Time

The strain on IT resources is the root problem for many of the top challenges today’s IT Leaders are facing. Manual processes and point solutions targeting certain platforms or aspects of endpoint management lead to this “reactive” bloat on IT resources.

FileWave’s K-12 Multi-Platform Solution is designed to help give time back to IT Leaders, while at the same time addressing many of the major challenges outlined in the CoSN IT Leadership Survey Report.

  • Simplify complex device assortments - IT Leaders need a unified platform to manage devices (push applications, check licensing, monitor privacy compliance), but teachers also benefit from a unified classroom management solution that easily connects with students on any device and helps increase student participation.
  • Self-service IT - Teachers can find and distribute pre-approved apps and content to all their students without calling IT, supporting real-time learning opportunities as well as saving IT time.
  • Improve Device Uptime - WiFi and other network configurations, restrictions, password standards, email configurations, digital content, VPNs…the list goes on, and all of them are required to keep devices compliant and users productive. Many “technical problems” happen when files are accidentally deleted or corrupted. FileWave supports both self-healing of applications as well as self-service profile management, allowing users to correct common problems on their own.
  • Increased visibility - By reducing the number of management tools and replacing manual processes, FileWave improves the visibility and security of endpoint devices. Detect and report detailed information on devices connected to your network, track licenses, and installations, and enforce security configurations and passcode rules.
  • Just-in-time Support - IT can leverage Remote Control screen sharing to offer technical troubleshooting or just-in-time training to teachers, offering a more effective path for when technical help truly is needed.

FileWave is proud to support the IT Leaders in over 4,000 schools across the US. Together, we are helping address some of these IT challenges and reallocate time to supporting digital learning initiatives for over 1 million students.

FileWave is an active advisor on several CoSN committees but did not contribute to the 2018 National K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report.

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