Mar 14, 2017
It starts with the basics. We always tell people to think about the "plumbing" before the "poetry". In other words, if your wifi infrastructure -- access points, servers, devices, etc.--. isn't up to the task then you better take care of that first or students and teachers will become demoralized quickly in the classroom. As far as the "poetry" goes, another top, fundamental priority is that your curriculum should be well-researched, clear and coherent....and all stakeholders should understand it. In short, if your curriculum or its implementation is poor then forget the laptops and take care of that as well. I know these items seems a little obvious but they are common mistakes. Exceptional technology will not fix a poor curriculum....ever. Once these fundamental components are ready it is very important that all central office and building administrators agree on the goals of technology implementation as well as the tangential pieces such as using a common vocabulary. Since the curriculum goals are clear, then most discussions about how technology can assist in achieving those goals will be much more seamless and organic. We are very explicit and intentional that we don't want to use technology to merely do "cool stuff" but we want to use it, foremost, to improve student learning and if it doesn't do that then we are wasting a lot of money. So, to this end, we always set measurable goals and we have to build capacity at the point of delivery--teachers and classrooms -- to reach those goals. Therefore, you cannot build a technology driven culture unless your professional development plan is aligned between your curriculum and the technology tools that you choose. Finally, I also would advise bringing in your early adopters....early... and have them experiment and build enthusiasm amongst the staff through in-house PD sharing, reporting out at faculty meetings, or peer coaching.