INDIANAPOLIS – According to survey results released today by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), significant progress is being made in creating digital learning environments and providing schools with greater cybersecurity. In total, 80 percent of Indiana school districts now have initiatives aimed at providing a computing device for each student with more than half of those providing a device for each K-12 student.
“The 2018 Tech Plan Survey gives schools a great way to show progress in supporting digital learning,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Schools anticipate the release of this data because it provides a way to compare themselves with local and state trends. There is much to celebrate in this data, as our schools are making substantial progress. We also understand there are areas that require additional attention if all Indiana students are to succeed in a globally competitive environment.”
The 2018 Tech Plan Survey achieved a 100 percent response rate from traditional public schools and covers key educational technology issues including student devices, social media access, digital content, technology platforms, virtual learning, cybersecurity, and bandwidth. In addition, bandwidth for schools is fueled by increased competition among internet service providers and new investments by the Indiana General Assembly.
“The amount of bandwidth per student is another bright spot in this year’s data,” observed Dr. Jason Bailey, IDOE’s Senior eLearning Strategist. “While nearly all Indiana schools are achieving national bandwidth targets established in 2014-2015, many Indiana schools are well on their way to meeting the current targets published by the Federal Communications Commission.”
Further, the expansion of technology enhanced learning environments gives rise to greater needs to defend against cybersecurity threats. Through the survey, school leaders indicated needs for developing staff and student awareness regarding cybersecurity risks, preventing and responding to the latest cybersecurity threats, and analyzing the overall position of their organizations with regard to cybersecurity defense.
“Cybersecurity for K-12 schools will require ongoing investment at all levels,” said Dr. John Keller, Chief Technology Officer for IDOE. “Schools are making progress but will need much more support to ensure the advances in digital age learning environments are not coopted by the increasingly sophisticated and relentless attacks on technical systems and their users.”
To view complete the Tech Plan Survey data sets from 2016-2018, please visit: https://www.doe.in.gov/tech-plan/2018-tech-plan-data. For a complete set of infographics on the 2018 Tech Plan Survey results, including interactive maps please visit: https://www.doe.in.gov/tech-plan/tech-plan-infographics-2018.