At Veracity, we have been studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 school and district purchasing decisions – specifically educational technologies designed to improve students’ academic achievement. It is important to understand how – and if – these decisions are being prioritized among a multitude of competing, and often critical, initiatives. We surveyed and interviewed many educational leaders to learn how school leaders are focusing their attention for the 2021-2022 school year. The report is the first research study examining the priorities of educators during the pandemic. A series of reports are anticipated for school years to come as we measure the change in academic needs and priorities in a post-pandemic educational system.
The research shows that learning loss recovery and social-emotional needs far outweigh any other priority for K-12 schools in the U.S. Intervention and re-aligning instruction to meet every student’s needs, supporting the physical and mental well-being of students and staff has become a critical component to success. The percentage of districts that have already purchased or plan to purchase technologies to support these initiatives is substantial, thanks to much-needed federal funding.
There is rising concern these “pandemic purchases” may become problematic if funding cannot be retained or the products are not proving their value; however, there is little time to focus on future repercussions due to the current environment. Progressive technology leaders are proactively considering ways to reassess the technology portfolio and identify cost saving opportunities.
The research highlights the competing challenges and priorities for educators across the nation, for the entire K-12 ecosystem (schools, communities, legislators, EdTech providers, etc.) as everyone seeks to understand how to best support students and educators for the remainder of the current school year and beyond.
- Three quarters of survey respondents ranked Learning Loss, Student Achievement and Outcomes as the number one or number two priority
- Forty-seven percent ranked Physical and Mental Well-Being of Students and Staff in the top two priorities
- One quarter of respondents scored School Finances and Funding as number one or two priority
- Ninety-one percent of respondents stated their school or district has already purchased or plans to purchase new technologies to support current needs