Educators and educational leaders have spent the better part of the last 18 months using technology in new ways – some out of necessity and some out of innovation. Many educators are now looking at all of the {temporarily} free tools, programs, and software that were initially implemented out of necessity and are left thinking- All this new tech, now what? Where is the roadmap?

We hear you!

We have worked closely with our school partners to review the technology integration tools available to them and evaluate necessity and innovation, allowing schools to invest in the right options and implement them with purpose. We presented a “Roadmap to Purposeful Technology Integration” at the 2020 OSBA Conference and again at our annual Vartek Virtual Summit {a free PD series offered each June}. 

Here’s an overview of our roadmap for you, School Leader.

  1. Choose a destination. A good lesson always starts with objectives. Ask, What do we want students to be able to do? What do we want teachers to be able to do?  Instructional goals drive technology use. Not the other way around. Evaluate your school’s instructional goals and determine how technology can support and elevate what happens in the classroom to achieve them. 
  1. Create the itinerary. Beginning with instructional goals, evaluate current technology tools and determine which tools, programs, and software best support these goals. We work with our partners to create a multi-year Technology Integration Plan independently or as a part of our multi-year IT Strategic Plan
  1. Determine prior knowledge and prepare a plan for communication. Determine your staff’s prior knowledge of the selected goals. Make a plan to progress on these goals. This plan will require some important rest stops {see Step 5}. Draft a communication plan to share this new destination with your faculty, staff, administration, school board, students, and community.  
  2. …And Drive! You have objectives, you’ve assessed prior knowledge, you made a plan for valuable growth and now it is time to drive! 
  1. Enjoy a Rest Stop. Ensure that you stay on course with frequent communication, feedback from learners and leaders, accountability, rest stops {See Step 5} and enjoy the ride! Rest stops and checkpoints along the way that include long-term support from coaches {we call them Classroom Technology Coaches} will help school leaders keep a pulse on what obstacles, or speed bumps, teachers and students might encounter along the way. A solid professional learning plan can help avoid these challenges. 
  1. Returning Home. It’s time to assess the effectiveness of your plan. While we recommend checkpoints along the way and detours as needed, it’s smart to evaluate progress once, or twice, a year. We work with our partners regularly and thoroughly at the end of a school year to tweak goals based on progress from the year.

Integrating technology with purpose is a long road, but well worth the journey! 

Vartek Services is a professional services company partnering with K12 schools to provide IT Leadership, Implementation, and Technology Integration to enhance the teaching and learning environment.

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