Can IT Support Software Help Michigan K-12 Districts Combat Teacher Burnout?

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The Clubshell, Northern Riffleshell, Rayed bean, Snuffbox mussel, and Piping Plover—what do these names have in common? They are on the list of species in Michigan at risk for endangerment. These names don’t have policymakers and citizens as worried as the latest on the endangered list: teachers.

In Michigan, there are currently 26 disciplines on the critical teacher shortage list, twice as many as a decade ago. The problem is real, and something districts in both urban and rural areas face.

What has made it so challenging for teachers to stay? And why aren’t more people choosing this profession? Many educators believe the fallout from the pandemic has contributed to a decline in interest, including tech fatigue. In fact, according to an NEA survey, more than 50% of educators say they will likely leave teaching earlier than originally planned as a result of the pandemic. What does this mean for existing teachers? Fewer teachers handling even greater workloads and thus burnout.

IT tools might not be the first thing one thinks of for stemming burnout, but we know that when the optimal tools are in place, teachers can save time and focus on instruction. This also helps reduce the barriers that drive teacher fatigue and frustration.

Is your district’s technology supporting classroom teachers or hindering them?

When was the last time your school district audited your legacy technology for effectiveness? This is important not only for budgetary reasons, but because it directly impacts teachers and students within the classroom. For instance, if a teacher’s computer is running slowly, that could potentially affect how fast they are able to grade assignments, and that stress from technical problems has been shown to contribute to the nationwide teacher shortage. It may seem like a dramatic example, but teachers and students use technology every day—they need it to work reliably so they can continue the hard work of teaching and learning.

Dr. Joni Poff, a retired Director of IT, spoke with COSN about their experience with assessing and auditing the legacy tools within Botetourt County Public Schools. “During my time in Botetourt, through an instructional discussion with principals, we realized we had a lack of consistency in the resources we were using, and sometimes a duplication of resources—multiple products that were intended to meet the same need. That led us to conduct an audit of all our resources, including edtech. We developed a product review process that considered cost, implementation, maintenance, and an analysis of whether it could meet intended outcomes.”

There are various ways to go about auditing legacy technology—Edutopia recommends asking four questions for each piece of legacy tech, ranging from “Is this minimizing complexity?” to “Does this technology preserve or enhance human connection?” For more insights into tech audits, check out our article on the topic.

There’s real savings in making the switch.

K-12 IT budgets are a complex challenge. It’s hard for leadership to find the right mix of software and hardware solutions that make it easy for teachers and administrators to do their jobs, while still staying within budgetary limits. Investigating what platforms and workflows do not serve your district will ultimately help shape what your district does need, going forward.

With Incident IQ, a school district with 10,000 students is able to gain an estimated $1,349,666 in total savings. This comes from efficiencies that become possible with our streamlined help ticketing and asset management solutions. School districts that use Incident IQ experience as much as an 80% improvement to service access, issue resolution time, and service delivery. (To learn the savings available for your particular district, use our savings calculator to find out).

If your district is burning through budget dollars with outdated processes and inferior asset management, reach out to us. Incident IQ is dedicated to streamlining critical support workflows for K-12 support teams so that Michigan K-12 teachers and students can thrive.

Click to learn how we support teaching and learning in Michigan K-12 school districts.

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