Technology is always knocking on school doors:

  • Blackboards gave way to white boards, which paved the way for smartboards.
  • Calculators took over from slide rules.
  • PCs displaced typewriters for writing term papers.
  • The Worldwide Web overtook encyclopedias as the source for research.
  • Smartphones and tablets are squeezing out pens and paper.

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Schools and teachers have long scrambled to keep up with the progression of tools for educating students. The knowledge gap is a given, when you consider that students outnumber teachers dozens-to-one and adopt new technologies quickly.

Students are taking tests on tablets, studying (and collaborating) with peers online and answering questions in real time on documents in the cloud. Teachers are more accustomed to working with pen and paper, but the facts on the ground are moving them to mobile devices just so they can keep up with students.

Technology is good. Support is better.

Students learn new technologies at recess almost daily. How do teachers make time for their own technology training? You can push technology into the classroom, but until there is adequate support, it becomes a source of frustration for the teachers and a disservice to the students.

Teachers are aware of the gap between the tools and technology on one hand and the support they need to use them effectively on the other. To create the infographic Powering Student Learning with Data Analytics in K-12, THE Journal surveyed decision makers on the use of data in K-12 education and quantified that gap:

  • 67% of teachers lack time to work with data for the sake of student learning.
  • Nearly half of teachers (49%) and a third of staff (33%) lack the skills for data analytics and data management; 21% say they receive no training to change that.
  • Budget is a barrier for 45% of districts and schools. 29% cite a lack of student computing devices as the obstacle.

Predictive analytics in K-12 education

Together with THE Journal, we’ve published a report called Game Changer: How Predictive Analytics is Transforming K-12 Education. Read it for more insights into using data analytics and data management in education.

How do you think we can bridge the technology gap? Let me know in the comments below.

Joanna Schloss

About Joanna Schloss

Joanna Schloss is a subject matter expert in the Dell Center of Excellence specializing in data and information management. Her areas of expertise include big data analytics, business intelligence, business analytics, and data warehousing.

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