2016 K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report

Marketing Team
Case Studies on August 13 2016

This is the fourth year the Consortium for School Networking has conducted a survey of K-12 IT Leaders. The goal of the survey is to gain insight about the use of technology in K-12 institutions from those charged with managing it. This report provides an annual snapshot and highlights the trends and changes that have occurred over time.

The online survey was conducted in partnership with MDR and distributed to over 120,000 U.S. school system technology leaders. Over 500 surveys were completed between January and March of 2016. As in prior years, IT leaders were asked questions about their priorities, challenges, budgets, and salaries. They were also asked about personal characteristics (professional background, years of experience, and education) to build a better understanding of the IT leadership profile.

New to this year’s survey are questions about how districts assess the impact of technology, what support is provided to emerging leaders, what policies are in place regarding students’ use of personal devices in school, and what role IT leaders play in districts’ digital content purchasing decisions. As districts increasingly integrate technology for instruction as well as backend administrative operations, it is essential that we have a clear understanding of the realities faced by K-12 IT leaders. This report will help to provide that information, and by so doing help CoSN better serve its membership.


Top 10 Key Findings

  1. Broadband & network capacity are the top priority for IT Leaders, replacing assessment readiness, which for the first time failed to make the top three.
  2. Privacy and security of student data is an increasing concern for IT Leaders, with 64% saying it is more important than last year.
  3. Nearly 90% of respondents expect their instructional materials to be at least 50% digital within the next three years.
  4. Virtually all respondents (99%) expect to incorporate digital Open Educational Resources (OER) over the next three years, with 45% expecting their digital content to be at least 50% OER within that timeframe.
  5. Nearly 80% of IT Leaders use online productivity tools, making it the most-used category of cloud-based solutions in education.
  6. District bans on student personal devices are a thing of the past—only 11% have banning policies.

  7. The path to IT Leadership differs for women and men. The vast majority of women come from education/instructional backgrounds (72%). The majority of men (54%) come from technology/technical backgrounds.

  8. Racial diversity in IT Leadership is lacking. Ninety percent (90%) of school IT Leaders are white.

  9. IT Leaders have advanced education, with 75% earning some college beyond their Bachelor’s Degree.

  10. More than a third of IT leaders plan to retire in the next six years.