7 Lessons In Technology Implementation From a Former Superintendent

Electronic School Magazine, June 1998, p. A24


A former Indiana superintendent turned college professor and education consultant outlines the potential pitfalls and perils of implementing technology in a school without enough planning.

His lessons are:

  1. technology won’t automatically make a mediocre school a good one, and if your principal isn’t backing your technology initiatives, you’re just throwing money away.

  2. before spending money on technology, decide why you’re getting it, get people excited about it, and make technology a “high-visibility” item in the school district’s agenda.

  3. introduce technology into a school in a way that’s most compatible with that school’s management culture.

  4. a minimum of technology-savvy in a principal goes a long way to spelling a successful technology launch, and for those principals who are lagging in computer skills, introduce programs to get them using computers.

  5. technology will require hiring dedicated technology staff — not doing so will lead to frustrated users and a wasted technology investment that no one uses.

  6. spend more on staff development since the teachers and staff you train can help others on-site, and do this before the technology is fully installed.

  7. draft long-range plans to handle such issues as aging machines, software upgrades, emerging technologies, and support budgets.

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