When it comes to edtech investments, there’s more to consider than simply how you can use it during lessons. By making wise investments, schools can access technologies which add value throughout school life by streamlining administrative processes for teachers, improving communication channels and more besides.
This blog is the second instalment in a three-part series covering school strategies, and it’s well worth starting with the first, ‘How can edtech support school strategies?’, if you haven’t read it already.
In this second part, we will look at a few examples of how you could use new and existing technologies to support wider school strategies…
1.Help parents and guardians to easily access relevant information
How does your school usually communicate with parents and guardians?
There’s often room for improvement where communication is concerned, and schools could look to existing technologies to bolster information access. If your school website hosts a blog, for example, you could periodically update it with upcoming events and school news.
If you record student attendance and attainment data online, could you make this securely available to each parent or guardian? Depending on which software you use, there may be simple steps for setting up student dashboards which help parents and guardians to keep in touch with in-school progress.
There’s really no limit on this front – by exploring your options for regularly communicating student timetables, homework objectives and more, you could cut down on the time teachers spend responding to individual requests.
2. Encourage safe social networking
Many schools have social media profiles set up, but they’re not always used to best effect. Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a great way to keep parents and guardians in the loop.
By posting regular updates, success stories and listing upcoming events, you can easily maintain the connection between staff, parents/guardians and students.
You could also use your social channels to ask the parental community for ideas, gauge opinions on current topics or even ask for feedback on school activities. You don’t need to invest huge amounts of time on social media to keep up positive relationships with people in your school community, so why not give it a go?
3. Explore videoconferencing options
Many schools have taken advantage of videoconferencing solutions like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to facilitate lesson delivery over the past year, but have you thought about any wider uses of live video?
You could use videoconferencing to host a virtual parents’ evening, booking each family into a designated timeslot to ensure the event runs on-time.
Another handy application of videoconferencing is to set up virtual experiences for students such as partnerships with local museums or businesses, or even to bring subject matter experts in for extra-curricular presentations.
These are just a few examples of where technology can be helpful outside of traditional lesson delivery. If you’d like to identify other opportunities within your school, you could start by thinking about where technology is currently used in wider school life, and where it might be lacking.
Then, instead of thinking purely about how to integrate edtech, consider what your ideal outcome is in each situation – it could be internal communication or parent engagement, for example – then think about how technology can help to achieve that goal.
For more inspiration on making the most of edtech in schools, why not read our recent blog ‘Unlocking digital potential with the Elements of Pedagogy’?