State of EdTech Leadership

Children interaction with computers
In prior years, two separate studies were conducted – one about IT infrastructure in K-12, and the other about the IT leaders (formerly the IT Infrastructure survey and IT Leadership Survey, respectively) who are responsible for school system technology. In 2020, CoSN combined the two surveys to get a more holistic view, which is now the State of EdTech Leadership Report. 
Since the education technology profession is constantly evolving, CoSN conducts its survey annually. The survey provides valuable information about how education leaders are leveraging technology and paints a picture of potential changes in the field. Look to us for your comprehensive overview of technology trends, challenges, and priorities! The results of the survey will inform the decisions we make to serve our members going forward. Our IT Leadership Survey is sponsored by Ed-Fi Alliance and  CDW.G conducted in partnership with MDR  and Forecast5

The New State of EdTech Leadership 2020 survey report is now available! 

Download your free copy of 2020 results


Key Findings:

Cybersecurity remains the number one technology priority for IT Leaders, yet the threat is generally underestimated. For the third straight year, cybersecurity has ranked as the top priority. When it comes to maintaining network security, 69% of districts say they are proactive or very proactive - up significantly over last year’s 52%. 

IT Leaders oversee education & administrative technology. Nearly three quarters (74%) of respondents have responsibilities that encompass both educational and administrative technology. This is a notable increase over the prior year’s 63%.

Women are holding fewer IT Leadership positions. The percentage of women in IT Leadership roles has decreased from 36% in 2016 to 25% this year.

Lack of racial and ethnic diversity in IT Leadership persists. A pervasive problem in leadership positions across all public and private institutions, diversity statistics in K-12 are stark.

Staffing for student-facing technology and support is insufficient. More than half of respondents do not feel they have adequate staffing to implement new technology (51%) or to integrate technology into the classroom (57%).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds both promise and peril for IT Leaders. The majority (55%) of IT Leaders anticipate that of the emerging technologies, AI will play a significant or transformational role in teaching and learning over the next five years.

Digital equity remains a priority for the overwhelming majority of districts. Ninety-six (96%) of IT leaders consider digital equity a priority.

The top three challenges persist: budget, professional development, and department silos. These three areas have been vexing IT Leaders since 2017.

IT Leaders make decisions about digital content. A large majority (75%) of IT Leaders are consistently involved in making decisions about digital content, including 17% who are the final decision-maker for their district.

Broadband progress continues. When it comes to districts’ existing infrastructure, more districts are meeting the FCC long-term goal of 1 Gbps per 1,000 students.

Past IT Leadership Surveys Past IT Infrastructure Surveys
2019 2018-2019
2018 2017-2018


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a straight arrow with two Xs on each side icona head with a turned on light bulb iconThis CoSN resource is related to the following skill areas from CoSN's Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO