Research

Report: Higher Ed Making Slow, Steady Technological Progress

Educational institutions in higher ed and K-12 are making slow but steady progress toward instructional and operational goals, such as improved use of student data, through use of technology, according to a new report from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Produced by SIIA's Education Technology Industry Network, the SIIA Vision K-20 Survey is a yearly "online self-assessment hosted on SIIA's Vision K-20 Web site for educators and educational leaders in K-12 classrooms, schools and districts and postsecondary courses, departments and campuses," according to anews release. "The 2015 survey consists of 33 benchmark statements indicating progress toward the SIIA Vision K-20 goals and measures, as well as questions about the use of technology to collect individual student data."

Key findings of the report include:

  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents at most educational levels reported that technology to report, manage and collect student data has increased in the last two years;
  • The most common use of data at all levels reported by respondents was to track student performance, ranging from 75-81 percent and the second most commonly reported use, from 70-72 percent, was to improve instruction;
  • The least common use of student data, according to respondents, was in support of research to improve instruction or curriculum;
  • K-12 and higher ed respondents also agreed that increased training in data systems use is the most effective way to support the increased use of individual student data, though K-12 survey takers were more likely to say so, at just above 60 percent, than their higher ed peers, at about 50 percent; and
  • Respondents at all levels appear fairly comfortable with current data security, with only 23 percent or less saying that data security or privacy need to be improved to make better use of the information.

"The survey indicates that Educators in both K-12 and postsecondary have a desire to integrate technology at a deeper and broader level, and recognize the need for support and assistance to make that happen," according to an executive summary of the report. "Educators may be taking a more nuanced approach to technology integration as it has become more ubiquitous in the classroom, seeking quality over quantity when it comes to technology integration. As technology evolves there may be new opportunities to reach goals with more cost-effective and less hardware-dependent solutions, which will address these concerns."

The full executive summary is available at siia.net.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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