A Framework for for Successful Implementation of Technology
While it is perfectly normal to be inspired by the newest, most exciting learning technologies, district and school leaders must remember that educational technologies’ successful implementations require careful thought and planning. There are countless stories of failed ed-tech implementations because of a lack of planning.
Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning, a guide to K-12 tech infrastructure developed by the US Department of Education, details questions that will help ensure education technology enterprises’ success. We’re going to take a look at some of these questions today.
Read on for more.
What is the Vision for Learning That Will be Supported by Technology?
Even though it is easy to be tempted by discounts and flashy promotional materials, district and school leaders must detail how students will use technology as a learning tool before making any decisions. The technology implementation should be driven by learning objectives, not the other way around.
Stakeholder and community ownership is the key to any successful initiative. Ensure that you involve all stakeholders, including board members, district leaders, school administrators, curriculum directors, parents, students, and other community pillars throughout all planning and executing stages.
Describe your school’s vision to all stakeholders and do your best to stay responsive and flexible to the school’s individual needs.
What Sort of Professional Learning Will Administrators and Teachers Need?
The need for job-embedded, ongoing professional learning is a factor that is generally overlooked when evaluating the success of implementing learning technology. Since educators have varying pedagogical knowledge and expertise in technology, professional learning must be designed to meet the needs of teachers at any level.
That means it must meet the most traditional teachers’ needs to the earliest adopters of new tech. You can ensure that teachers and administrators understand how digital tools can support their work by differentiating the instruction to combine online and in-school professional learning communities.
What Are the Needs of the School Network?
If your school does not have a sturdy network infrastructure, any digital learning enterprise you attempt will surely fail. A network assessment performed by the school’s tech support teams or a professional consultant can identify electrical, mechanical, and environmental conditions that must be addressed.
Keep in mind that technology infrastructure does not have an indefinite lifespan, and the school’s bandwidth must grow continually, meaning that refresh cycles must be planned and funded.
What Devices Will be Needed, and How Many?
Once your school has a clear vision for the role that technology will play in learning and teaching, you will need to decide what type of computing devices the school will use, and how many will be required. Consider the number of devices that teachers and students can connect to the school network, and ensure differentiation between school-owned devices and devices owned by students and staff.
As you can see, there are plenty of things that need to be considered and planned before learning technology can be implemented in a school successfully. Be sure to read the entire Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning guide, published by the US Department of Education.