What if classroom technology never failed? What if teachers were always excited about new technology and students consistently used tech tools in productive, innovative ways?
Dream on, you say? You’re right. Perfect is impossible. But getting closer to perfect is very possible, and summer is the perfect time for the kinds of projects that can move you in that direction. While classrooms and computers are on low-power mode, you and your technology team leader should put your energy behind these next-level school technology strategies.
- Revisit your technology vision. Sometimes ed tech visions get distorted, and the technology itself ends up being the goal. Take a critical look at your tech vision to make sure it reflects curriculum and learning objectives—not the other way around. Then document the vision and share it with your academic and IT leadership teams so that everyone’s on the same page when school starts up in the fall.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your technology team. Does your staff have the experience, certifications and skills to meet your school’s technology needs today and help you prepare for the next tech evolution? Take a good look at your team and determine how you will fill the gaps before school startup.
- Develop (or update) your technology plan. Use blocks of uninterrupted time to flesh out a strategic IT plan that includes a technology budget, asset refresh and implementation schedules, training goals for teachers, and classroom integration objectives. Collaborate with your school leadership team, your tech team leader and key teachers and staff to make sure the plan is aligned with your tech and educational visions.
- Schedule professional learning sessions. Ongoing training is essential to successful classroom integration. The right kind of training not only gives teachers the support they need to become comfortable with new technology, it helps them use technology in a way that transforms student learning.
Read more about ways to transform student learning here.
- Plan device and software pilots. Try before you buy. A small-scale test run of viable student and teacher tools will give you solid data for making the most effective large-scale purchases.
- Require basic technology maintenance. Your IT staff should present and implement a plan for disconnecting equipment and devices to allow custodial crews to clean; repairing or replacing broken machines; and installing software, server, and network upgrades to keep the infrastructure robust and reliable.
This is Vartek’s 30th year working with school technology teams. And every year, we see that schools that use summer break to tackle complex projects have smoother startups and school years. We’d love to talk to you about your summer plans. Call 800-954-2524.