I recently spoke with an administrator at a large urban school district and he expressed his frustration with the sheer number of education vendors he is charged with managing. He has no idea which teachers are using which technologies and what’s working. Similarly, the infographic below depicts the numerous technology applications a K–12 teacher might be tapping into throughout his/her day.
No doubt, most schools are in an awkward stage of technology integration with multiple, disparate tools that don’t talk to each other. While the explosion of apps, content, and tools is a real boon for our educators and students, the lack of integration and coherence is making life difficult for those managing the relationships and trying to make budgetary decisions around which tools are most beneficial.
But we’re encouraged by the ecosystem that is taking shape with some companies emerging as platforms and others plugging-in to reach educators and students as quickly and easily as possible. While still early, a real organization is underway and platforms like MasteryConnect, Junyo, Edmodo, Engrade and Education Elements are integrating with dozens of content, apps, and tool providers. We’re finally moving to a better place — away from the walled garden of curated, publisher content to an open architecture allowing the best content from any source to be discovered and used.