Why EdTech is Critical for Small Schools and Colleges

Co-Authored with Renee Patton

The Heart of the Village

In education institutions around the world, smaller classroom sizes have long been correlated with increased effectiveness and impact – particularly in primary schools. Small schools and colleges are a force to be reckoned with: not only do they provide learning experiences for students, but they also have critical social and cultural implications in their surrounding communities. 

In a 2019 article on small, rural schools in Nordic countries, Gunilla Karlberg-Granlund called the small school the “heart of the village.” 

However, these small schools face a unique set of challenges: limited resources, budgetary constraints, smaller staff size, enrollment crises, connectivity and bandwidth shortages, and a heavy reliance on teachers and administrators to juggle multiple roles.

Technology and digitization can make all the difference in these small schools, districts, and colleges, but several headwinds can make forward momentum difficult.

For example, in the UK and Ireland, 80% of educators say technology can help them to improve engagement in their classrooms. However, 81% of IT managers say there isn’t enough money to invest in education technology, commonly referred to as EdTech, in schools. In the United States, 15% of families with children in school do not have high-speed internet at home, with that percentage more than doubling among households with an annual income below $30,000 US Dollars a year.

Some facts remain true no matter where, or how big, your school is. The network is critical. Budgets are shrinking. Technology is becoming more and more pervasive – whether you are attending a small elementary school in rural Kansas, a small primary school in London, or a small college in Japan.

We can help.

Meet Cisco Designed for Education

That’s why we launched Cisco Designed for Education, our portfolio of secure and simple-to-deploy solutions designed with small schools, districts, and colleges in mind. We understand education: since 1984, we have helped thousands of schools to launch new technologies, upgrade their existing IT infrastructures, and build collaboration and digitization into their learning models. 

From building and enhancing wireless and connectivity to creating a secure learning environment, and from empowering teachers and students to work and learn from anywhere to protecting students and staff on campus and in the classroom, our solutions are designed to secure, simplify, and advance your technology today to prepare for education tomorrow. 

We also understand that IT budgets are tighter today than ever before. That’s why we provide funding support through E-rate in the United States, low interest financing options globally, Cisco remanufactured products, and more.

Reimagine Education

“To nurture great ideas and brilliant thinking at the point that it occurs, and not to have to wait for the next class. That’s how innovation happens. That’s the future.”

Dr. Lance Ford, Howe Public School Teacher

Education opens doors and is helping us to shape the next generation of doctors, teachers, scientists, artists, and leaders. As digital transformation accelerates, small schools and colleges face a defining moment. By partnering with a proven leader in education technology, small schools and colleges have the opportunity to reimagine learning experiences with education solutions that secure, simplify, and enhance digital learning. 

>> Read the e-book on Empowering Small School Districts for Hybrid Learning

learn more about solutions for your small school today


Faith Wheller

Director of Marketing, Global

Small Business