Every year schools are buying new technology and getting it implemented into their organizations. Here are a few can't miss keys for your school.
1. Get Key People on Board
I remember speaking with a school district about new technology and they didn’t want to overwhelm their teachers with new tech. This is a problem, new technology should not be overwhelming or burdensome but rather beneficial.
When implementing new technology at your school and district make sure the key people buy in. The key people would be first and foremost, the leadership, such as the head principal and the assistant principals. Once they are on board it is important for them to communicate and pass the purpose and the vision behind the product to the teachers and to the student leadership. These people are going to be the ones who push the product in the classrooms and can be the ones who teach the other students how to utilize the new technology.
2. A strong launch
With students and staff on board a school wide launch is key. It is important to have champions that will lead the movement. Preferably this is an administrator, a teacher and a friendly student that can take on responsibility. There are also many simple key points that would help the launch such as:
An email sent to all teachers to promote the new tech and to ensure consistent communication
A simple short video that would catch the attention of students and promote the software, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN9Pr-17-j0
Promotion on social media
3. Regular follow ups
Following a strong launch it is highly recommended to have scheduled follow ups with your technology provider. A common pattern I see with schools is that they purchase great technology but leave so much potential on the table because they have not properly learned about the possibilities. Your technology provider most likely know how you can get the most value out of your school's purchase. Communicate with them, get feedback and be willing to learn and grow in some areas. Your current technology or software providers should be checking in with you to see if there are ways they can help answer any questions.
What good is a Ferrari if it sits in your garage? Good technology is worth using and using well. As you are regularly checking in with your providers, make sure to get strong analytics that show the usage of your tech. There is no reason schools should get tied down into long term contracts for tech that is not being used. Make sure your money is going to the right places. If students are your main priority, then:
Strong feedback loops are essential to any healthy organization. Students have different perspectives than staff and what they say is extremely valuable. Take this into account as the next school year comes along and see if the contracts are worth renewing.
This tweet comes from one of our favorite voices in the EdTech world, Mark Martin also known as @urban_teacher on Twitter.
These were four keys to implementing new tech at your school, if you have other ideas let us know in the comments below. Also if you found this post beneficial please share it!