A guide for how to select the best tech tools for your school

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
June 22nd, 2016

tech plan

Guide shares best tech practices, insights, and resources from educators, administrators, and technology experts

With ed-tech spending expected to reach $55B by 2019 as predicted by market research firm Technavio, schools and districts should ensure they can produce carefully-crafted technology plans that outline how technology will work successfully in classrooms.

To help schools and districts make technology initiatives a success, a new guide from Boxlight, Launch Tech in Your Schools Successfully, features technology purchasing and implementation insight from educators and marketplace experts.

When it comes to creating a technology plan, successes are largely driven by effective district- or school-wide technology committees that involve all stakeholders in the creation of the tech plan. Plans should include goals and objectives, action steps, who is responsible for each step, and resources that support goals.

The technology plan should guide district actions each year while remaining flexible and responsive to changes in learning needs and new technology innovations.

A technology committee should include the IT director or members of the IT department, teachers who actively use technology, the library media specialist, an instructional technology specialist, an administrator or superintendent, board of education members, parents, and students.

“This guide isn’t just advice from a vendor. District personnel who are seasoned veterans of tech launches wrote the vast majority of this guide,” said Christopher Leonardo, the director of research and development for Boxlight. “This is up-to-date, boots-on-the-ground knowledge. One educator even contributed excerpts of his how-to article from the February 2016 issue of Tech & Learning magazine.”

The 30-page PDF covers the following topics:
• How to set technology goals and make purchasing decisions
• How to set up a tech committee to evaluate needs and resources
• How input from inside and outside sources can aid purchasing decisions
• How to run a successful pilot program
• How educators make their educational technology vendor their partner
• The five most common challenges of launching new technology
• How to make sure the technology gets used

The PDF contains embedded links to resources that can help them achieve the goals described. For example, a recommendation to provide staff with a technology needs assessment contains a link to a National Center for Technology Planning survey questionnaire. The questionnaire is designed to capture personnel’s perceptions of technology needs, with respect to their specific responsibilities and working situations.

Four contributors wrote Launch Tech in Your Schools Successfully:
• Lynn Reedy, 2006 Mississippi Technology Educator of the Year and currently an educational technology specialist for Stafford Public Schools in Connecticut.
• Kevin Ryan, the director of educational technology and 21st century learning at Kildeer Countryside School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
• Christopher Leonardo, the director of research and development at Boxlight.
• Travis Rink, an assistant high school principal who also manages Boxlight’s global training as the educator advocacy leader.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura