Schools are continually under pressure to invest in tools to support a wide range of priorities, so finding the right edtech can be a daunting task.
In education, everyone has their own goals. To decide which edtech to invest in, you need to look at the requirements of your whole school community – teachers, leaders, IT administrators and students. When you combine these priorities, you can create an effective edtech roadmap that addresses everyone’s needs.
Speak to teachers from each department
Every school has tech advocates and tech critics. Some teachers will be more tech-savvy than others, but that doesn’t mean their needs should be considered over those with a more traditional style of teaching. In fact, ensuring all members are involved in the early stages of strategy-setting will make them feel more included in the process – and more willing to share ideas and embrace any new edtech that’s suggested.
Each department will have their own agenda in mind, so it’s important to address everyone’s goals at the planning stage.
- What are school leaders’ primary and secondary goals for the academic year?
- What budget is currently allocated to classroom tech? Is there room for adjustment?
- What infrastructure would IT administrators like to see in school in the next five years?
- How have network requirements changed over the last year? How do IT administrators expect them to change in the coming year?
- Have teachers’ classroom activities and preferences changed over the last year?
- How could edtech overcome teachers’ common frustrations and support their goals?
Once everyone has provided feedback, schedule a meeting to discuss high-level goals for each department and the school as a whole. When everyone feels like their individual voice has been heard, they’re more likely to collaborate and compromise as you assign actions.
Consider student needs and learning outcomes
Edtech can considerably enhance the learning environment for students, but it has to be used correctly to do so. Think about the different needs and outcomes classroom edtech could address:
- Could edtech be used differently to increase student engagement?
- Are students easily distracted in the classroom? Are they more distracted during some activities than others?
- How could edtech be used to support group work or mixed-ability students?
- Do students struggle to keep up with the lesson plan?
- Do students progress at unpredictable rates?
- How could edtech be used to enhance social-emotional learning in the classroom?
Assess your current edtech
Like any other type of equipment, some edtech tools get used more often than others. Take a look at your current setup and think about how you could integrate new tech to make your classroom ecosystem more effective.
Smart panels, also known as front-of-class displays, are the core tool in the modern classroom. Many schools already have them in place, but may not be using them as effectively as they could. Smart panels, such as the ActivPanel, can integrate with a wide range of apps and devices – expanding their effectiveness and value across multiple uses. Students can also connect to the smart panel display via device-mirroring to share their work with the class, encouraging constructive feedback and supporting social-emotional learning.
AI tools can also make your current edtech run more seamlessly, enabling teachers to control the interactive display as they move around the classroom and provide one-on-one attention to students.
The number of compatible devices and apps is growing, so before you blow your budget on brand-new tools, assess your current setup to find opportunities for integration and improvement.
Finding the right balance of edtech and establishing a technology roadmap can be daunting. To find out how to get the right staff involved and which questions to ask to ensure your edtech roadmap addresses everyone’s needs effectively, download your step-by-step IT framework.