8 Steps to Successfully Piloting an Edtech Project
There are many new edtech tools on the market, and each claims it will improve student learning. Before your district can put promising new technology in the classroom, however, you’ll need to assess whether the tech lives up to its marketing claims. These steps will help you pilot edtech successfully.
- Determine your goals
The first thing you need is a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the new technology. Whether it’s improved test scores or higher literacy rates, you need to ensure the goal is stated and shared. The goal should be tied to your district’s priorities.
- Identify edtech product options
Identify the tools that could help achieve your district’s goals. Once you have a short list, reach out to teachers, technology directors, and administrators at other school districts that have piloted these technologies. Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the products, as well as best practices for using them in the classroom. Leveraging the experience of other districts will help ensure your pilot has a high likelihood of success.
- Select appropriate teachers and students for the pilot
Depending on your goals, the piloted technology might be aimed at the entire student population or a specific subset. Make sure all groups of students that will use the product in its final rollout are represented in your pilot population.
- Use a pre-assessment to measure the “before” state of the pilot students
In order to analyze whether the pilot successfully impacts your goals, you must start with a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the students in the pilot program.
- Train teachers on the technology and instructional methods that leverage it
Teachers who will use the pilot technology need to have access to it before the pilot starts so that they can become familiar with it. They will require training on the technology itself, as well as how to best leverage it in the classroom.
- Use a post-assessment to test student mastery and analyze results
Once the pilot is complete, assess students again to determine the impact the tool had on student mastery. Were the district’s goals met? Your decision to move forward with a full rollout of the tools or discontinue its use should be based on this data.
- Document pilot results and best practices and share with the district community
To gain broad buy-in for the new edtech tool and leverage best practices learned in the pilot, results must be documented and shared broadly.
- Negotiate and purchase edtech tools
Once you have a clear determination that the tool meets district goals, you can move forward with the purchase.