The author asserts that administrators should not merely develop a technology plan and expect that it will be embraced and implemented. Rather, they need to undertake a major effort to “sell” many stakeholders on the merits of the plan. Here’s a list of each of the primary stakeholder groups, with ideas on how to solicit needs and garner support for implementing a technology plan from each of them:
- Mid-level building administrators. They can propel or stop any project in their school. Often, it is valuable to seek support from them before presenting the plan to the superintendent, as their opinions will be considered closely.
- Teachers. As with administrators, teacher acceptance is essential to implementing a technology plan that offers meaningful improvement. If possible, hold a focus group or conduct a survey before finalizing a technology plan, and incorporate teachers’ ideas.
- Parents and students. Again, input from students and parents prior to the final drafting of a plan is preferable. If the plan is especially popular with parents or students, encourage them to contact the superintendent or school board directly.
- Superintendent. Show the superintendent how the technology plan will help students, and make a case for why it deserves priority treatment.
- Community leaders. Elected officials, volunteer groups, businesspeople, and others can provide valuable financial support and technical expertise. Take the message to these leaders directly by speaking at local government and chambers of commerce meetings.
- School board members. When speaking to school board members, be sensitive to the fact that technology may not be their priority issue. By showing how technology will help them meet their highest objective–reduction in drug use or higher graduation rates, for example–they will support your plan.
- Skeptics. Criticism and resistance are inevitable. Accept it in a professional manner and try to respond to particular concerns that are expressed.