Changing Role of the K-12 IT Leader: Top 10 Findings from CoSN Survey

CoSN has been supporting K-12 IT Leaders since the organization was established 26 years ago. Since then, technology and its uses have changed dramatically.

So, too, have the roles and responsibilities of the K-12 IT Leader. No longer focused solely on infrastructure issues—the boxes and switches—IT Leaders now play an integral role in shaping the learning environments for students as well.

To gain a better understanding of the changing responsibilities of IT Leaders and their educational technology challenges, CoSN launched its first IT Leadership survey in 2013.

That survey had just 35 questions.

The most recent (2018) survey has over 50.

Questions have been added about new educational technology initiatives, such as Project Unicorn, and CoSN’s national aspirational leadership certification—Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL®).

Survey respondents are also asked about relevant topics such as Open Education Resources (OER) and Single Sign-On (SSO).

The survey was deployed to 12,781 districts.

41,384 data points from over 478 completed surveys were collected and sorted by their partner Forcast5 Analytics.

Each year, the survey results help to inform CoSN’s programming and initiatives. Year-over-year and trend results provide unique insights into how the world of the IT Leader is, or is not, changing.

This survey report provides valuable information for CoSN, IT Leaders, school districts and the organizations that serve and support those districts

Top 10 Findings of the survey:

1. Cyber Security and Broadband/Network Capacity tie as the top priorities for IT Leaders.

2. Budget constraints are ranked the top challenge for the fourth straight year.

3. Integrating technology into the classroom continues to be the most understaffed IT function.

For 4 through 10, go to


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