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The vision of Project Tomorrow is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.  We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century.

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For Immediate Release:
November 28, 2018
Download PDF of Press Release

CONTACT:
Amber Taylor
703-201-4893
ataylor@tomorrow.org

Majority of School District Administrators Fear Network Attacks

As Schools Shift to the Cloud, Security and Training Is Needed

Irvine, Calif. –As schools continue to move data and content to the cloud and implement more mobile devices, the danger of student data being hacked continues to be a concern among administrators, according to data just released the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning. The research was conducted in collaboration between Project Tomorrow, a leading national education nonprofit, and iboss, the leader in cloud security.

Last fall, Project Tomorrow asked district administrators and school and district technology leaders around the country about data privacy concerns and the current use of cloud computing among students and teachers. School systems across the country are experiencing a digital transformation, with students and staff increasingly bringing smartphones to school and connecting them to their schools’ Wi-Fi networks. Students are leveraging more online content and social media for communication than ever before while school’s administrators face the challenge of securing students whose data is now across multiple clouds and being accessed from mobile devices at school and at home and who are at risk of harming themselves or others.

The data analysis was also released in a new infographic, “The State of K-12 IT: Findings from the Speak Up 2017 Research Project” by Project Tomorrow and iboss.

“Most administrators say the effective use of technology in school is extremely important to preparing students for the future,” said Dr. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. “As more technology is introduced, and at a time when hacking is a serious concern in most industries, we see schools taking this issue very seriously. No one wants to put student data at risk.”

Speak Up 2017 findings represents the views of 340,927 K-12 students, 34,833 teachers and librarians, 3,249 administrators, 23,159 parents and 4,611 community members representing more than 10,600 public and private schools and 3,200 districts, collected from October 2017 through January 2018.

The research found that the majority (71 percent) of district administrators are concerned about the security of their network against malicious attacks or misbehavior, and the top concern with cloud applications among technology leaders is ensuring data privacy (58 percent).

Technology leaders reported via Speak Up last year that their students and teachers are using cloud-based tools (85 percent), taking online assessments (77 percent), and using student data to inform instruction (73 percent). And, they expect to see more flipped learning, blended learning, online professional development and open education resources used in their schools.

“Today’s schools face an increase in opportunities for learning as they move to the cloud. However, they also now face challenges when it comes to cybersecurity: they are prime targets for hackers and must secure a widely distributed network of onsite, mobile, and remote users,” stated Richard Quinones, iboss Senior Vice President of State, Local Government & Education. “Schools need to face cybersecurity with solutions that focuses on protecting the users not the network perimeter as was the case in the past because the fact is, the network perimeter is dissolving. By focusing on securing students and their devices from anywhere allows schools to gain greater visibility into cybersecurity threats as well as threats from students harming themselves or others.”

The top obstacles districts face effectively protecting students, teachers and staff are:

  • Balancing access to educational resources with security (57%)
  • Lack of technology expertise among teachers and administrators (55%)
  • Keeping up with the pace of technology adoption (43%)
  • Students and teachers circumventing existing policies (39%)

About Project Tomorrow & Speak Up
Project Tomorrow is the nation’s leading education nonprofit group dedicated to ensuring that today’s K-12 students are well prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and engaged citizens of the world. The Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow. Since 2003, the annual Speak Up project has collected and reported on the views of more than 5.4 million K-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents representing more than 30,000 schools in all 50 states. This represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, schools of the future, science and math instruction, professional development and career exploration.

Project Tomorrow’s research goal is to help build the capacity of education leaders to create new learning experiences that prepare today’s students to compete and contribute to the global economy and society. To share the Speak Up 2017-18 national findings, Project Tomorrow is creating a series of briefing papers and infographics to address key topics in the effective use of technology to enable new learning experiences and empower educational effectiveness. Learn more at https://tomorrow.org/speakup

About iboss
iboss is a cloud security company that provides organizations and their employees safe access to the Internet and their applications in the cloud from any device, anywhere without appliances. Leveraging a purpose built cloud architecture backed by 110 patents and over 100 points of presence globally, iboss protects more than 4000 organizations worldwide through the cloud. To learn more, visit www.iboss.com.