The School IT Administrator: what are the duties, challenges and training needs?

European Schoolnet and Cisco release the first ever report exploring the context, duties, challenges and training needs of ICT Administrators in schools. This report is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and needs of this community of school IT Administrators, and to initiate a dialogue amongst public and private sector organizations to find solutions.

Across Europe, and for many years now, governments, significant investments in ICT connectivity, equipment and services in order to make digital age teaching and learning a reality for young people, and to equip them with the competences needed to thrive in the 21st century. The people in schools who are responsible for maintaining and upgrading the technological infrastructure occupy an increasingly vital role in ensuring that this investment pays dividends, and deserve support to fulfill this mission.

An IT Administrator – in some countries known as the network manager, systems coordinator or IT manager – is the person in the school who oversees the technical development and implementation of IT, for example administering the network, managing devices in the school, addressing security issues and providing technical support to teachers. It is distinct from the ICT coordinator or e-learning manager who has a more  pedagogical role.

That is why European Schoolnet has worked in partnership with Cisco- with its experience in the Cisco Networking Academy Program - to explore the context, duties, challenges and training needs of IT Administrators in schools.

This report presents the findings from what is believed to be the first such survey, and the picture that emerges contains positive elements – for example 60 per cent of respondents have a post-school qualification in computer studies – some major concerns are exposed that need to be addressed by decision-makes at all levels, in particular the need for training and support. Unless they are tackled with some urgency, digital age learning is at risk of remaining an aspiration not a reality. 
For its part, European Schoolnet aims to increase its support for IT Administrators through the European Schoolnet Academy, in collaboration with its education partners in the public sector and a wide range of small  and large companies in the private sector.
The Cisco Networking Academy program delivers classroom instruction, online teaching materials, interactive tools, and hands-on learning to students all over the world, providing greater economic opportunities for individuals and building a pipeline of talent for the future workforce.

Download the report (pdf)