As the director of student learning at a pre-K-12 school district, my job is to deploy technology that will prepare students for college and career readiness. So, when my district’s 1:1 computer environment had fallen behind others in our area, it was up to me and my team to roll out something new—something better—that would position our students for future success.
Here’s how we pulled it off and steps you can take to replicate success in your schools.
1. Do your research.
Most of the schools in our region use Chromebooks, but we wanted technology that would grow with us—something with staying power in math and science, especially. To make the most informed decision, we:
- Called community colleges, four-year colleges, and Ivy League universities to get a better picture of the edtech ecosystem our students must be prepared for.
- Used Kahoot! and email management software LISTSERV to collect perspectives from students, parents, teachers, and other tech leaders.
- Created Venn diagrams to weigh the pros and cons of Microsoft vs. Google as learning platforms.
- Held meetings with the Board of Education and tech leaders to identify the best devices, services, and support (at the most agreeable price points).
- Conducted focus groups and device testing with teachers to collect authentic feedback.
- Considered the required tools and resources that would prepare us for the state’s assessment protocol.
2. Get buy-in from key stakeholders.
Students and families need to know what they’ll be getting, how it will be used, and what constitutes responsible behavior. Engage your school community (students, families, faculty, staff, Board) in the decision-making process so they can share the excitement. Creating an authentic sense of ownership early on will strengthen user adoption/support at home, in the classroom, and on the go—all of which results in the best success.