Five years ago, the Area Education Agencies in Iowa made the decision to provide Iowa school districts with access to the Clarity BrightBytes technology program evaluation survey. Administered to teachers and students annually by the Iowa City Community School District, the data collected provides each district with a technology program evaluation tool that provides an overview of the whole educational technology environment. This includes device and infrastructure quality, support, instructional technology, technology integration, and digital literacy, among other areas.
This year, I believe that our results are worthy of celebration, and are reflective of the outstanding work done by our IT team, innovation coaches, principals, teachers, students, and board members in pushing for and actively utilizing technologies in the district.
For the first time in 5 years of administering the survey, we saw our scores increase from the past year in all four major categories and overall. Further, our category and overall scores are all the highest we’ve recorded in 5 years of using this evaluation.
Perhaps even more impressive, we saw increases in the overall score in 25 of our 26 schools, excluding Liberty High School which did not have a score change as it was a brand new school at the start of the 17-18 school year. This affirms the direction we’re headed with educational technology across grade levels.
This sort of consistent growth is the number one indicator that I look to in terms of evaluating whether we’re headed in the right direction. That said, it can also be valuable to compare our scores to those of other districts and to the state; this type of comparison is made possible by the fact that so many districts take advantage of the Clarity survey through the AEA system. Consistency of our implementation and improvement are evident in the fact that for the first time ever, ICCSD exceeds state and national averages, along with Grant Wood AEA district averages in all four category scores, as well as in our overall score.
I’ll be looking closely at the detailed results in the coming weeks, and will post further data on the Technology & Innovation Blog when I’ve had a chance to put it together. Once again, I’d like to recognize the work of everyone in the district who has contributed to the progress that we’ve made in implementing more accessible and more effective educational technology.