Ottawa, March 6, 2023— Effective educational technology procurement in Canada requires striking a balance between centralized, decentralized, and divisional procurement, more collaboration between regional procurement stakeholders, and giving procurement teams more time to standardize and systematize their purchasing processes.

In Canada, procurement processes for education technology vary by province, territory, and often between school districts and schools. The growing number of technology purchases K-12 schools presents new challenges for government and school board procurement teams. A better understanding of technology procurement in Canadian schools and boards can lead to better outcomes.

This latest ICTC edtech study, Buying into Learning Outcomes: Educational Technology Procurement Policy and Practice in Canada, provides an in-depth look at edtech procurement policies and practices across provinces and territories and offers a policy roadmap for improving edtech procurement.

The study highlights procurement process commonalities and differences (such as centralized, decentralized, and divisional procurement) and their associated strengths and weaknesses. It also explores the following: 

  • Procurement approaches that promote successful integration with a school’s existing technology infrastructure and risk to data privacy and security
  • Innovative approaches to budgeting, including the role of charity, private sector grants, and fundraising in the context of demographic considerations
  • Improving edtech procurement outcomes through multidisciplinary procurement teams, including specialists in pedagogy, curriculum, technology, accessibility, cybersecurity, privacy, Indigenous student realities, digital equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Staying abreast of edtech market developments beyond formal RFI (requests for information), including learning about edtech solutions from end users, other schools, vendors, edtech conferences, professional development programs, etc. 

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policymakers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years.

To arrange an interview on this study or other media inquiries, please get in touch with Paul Stastny at @email or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

This press release is available in French here.