We all realize that planning is paramount to a successful project, and no one understands this more than educators. From plans that guide daily lessons to plans that chart student learning goals, define disciplinary proceedings and facilitate college acceptance, it takes a great deal of planning to successfully shepherd a student from K through 12 and into the higher education system beyond.
That’s why it’s surprising that, when it comes to implementing technology in the classroom, school districts often don’t take the time to build a shared vision and bring all the key stakeholders into a planning initiative.
Schools are adding next generation displays, projectors, tablets, notebooks and other connected devices in record numbers, typically with the aim of facilitating 1:1 learning. Yet many of these programs are flagging, as teachers and students alike struggle to shoehorn technology into a system and learning model that was developed long before these devices existed.
By contrast, when implemented strategically, classroom technology can be an extraordinary enablement tool for new levels of interactivity, engagement and democratization of learning across students with different abilities and skillsets.
The key is for schools to facilitate teachers in the development of practical, tech-enabled lesson plans. How? By developing and implementing a strategic plan of their own, of course.
Step 1: Create a task force to define a shared vision and common language structure
For technology programs to be successful, stakeholders must first align on the purpose of the program. The first step is creating a task force to build and define a “shared vision.” Both of these words are equally important.
Shared – Task forces should bring together representatives from both sides of the aisle – technology and learning. This group should consist of teachers, school building leaders (e.g. principals), superintendents, parents, students, CIOs and tech implementers. Task forces should meet on a weekly basis and share ongoing communication during the planning phase, and continue to meet occasionally after the launch of the technology program.
Vision – The vision this task force creates should not be a technology vision, but a learning vision that uses technology to support and unlock greater levels of engaged learning.