Incorporating Technology in Education can be fun and engaging. However, a few missteps may interfere with that flow and have the students unwilling to participate or have the tech utilized. Here are a few tips to avoid making errors that could have unfortunate consequences.
One aspect to consider is whether you are a stakeholder provided with enough information for the implementation of the new Education Technology? They should be given ample time and plenty of information about the technology, its role and function, and what this particular project entails. This will enforce support of the Education Technology. As soon as it’s a go from the stakeholders then we can consider budgeting. There are too many steps to consider if one wants to avoid possible mistakes with technology incorporation but the editors at Pro-Papers covered the main points, which should be kept in mind while thinking over technology implementation at schools or colleges.
New Tech is always exciting and one can be very optimistic about its implementation, however, can the school afford it? Not only the expense of the initial deployment but what about repairs or replacement costs, exterior parts, extra materials and additional cost for technology to cover those expenses? If those points have been considered, then it’s time to have a chat with the teachers and students that will be using the new technology. Having a small pilot group to test out the new tech and to provide valuable feedback will defiantly ensure a more successful deployment once the tech is purchased on a large scale.
It makes the most sense that if you are not familiar with a certain topic or field then you seek out someone who has knowledge of the subject of matter. With this in mind, a smart move would be to hire someone who is adept in IT. That way they can provide guidance and even spearhead the implementation of the best type of technology that would be useful for that school’s culture, curriculum, and environment. This would be done through planning, purchasing, usage, and management of the systems so that students can get the best out of the experience. Once the right IT person is on the team they’d be able to oversee the framework, security, device management strategies and find out what the best solution stack would be. They would be able to provide valuable feedback as to upgrading the types needed and when needed. Added to that is, they would be responsible for training or the very least getting the staff who would be utilizing the tech, get familiar with its features and applications.
Checking to see if the School WIFI switches and firewalls can keep up with added new networks is a great step to take when considering infrastructure. Taking time to bring in the resources to examine and maintain your network is highly advisable. If these checks are not made, then the old network will fall apart.
One can never stress the importance of security. There are a few pesky things to straighten out once the school’s network has been updated and upgraded. Will a private pre-shared key be used or will the school utilize an IEEE 802. 1X? That provides an authentication mechanism to devices wishing to attach to a LAN or WLAN. Now you’d have to take into consideration who has access for example with the WIFI systems will parents be signing on as guests? The questions about security when connecting to the network is best left up to the IT specialist to decide at the end of the day.
Now that the onboarding of an IT specialist has been implemented the next thing to consider is ensuring that the purchase of the new tech aligns with the school or district’s tech plan. For example, will this new tech foster student success? Will it increase the productivity of staff and help in aspects such as planning and decision-making? In addition, what training programs would be employed to keep the staff up to par with the new tech? One such example is that of a professional development training which addresses the technology proficiency expected of teachers. Providing enough time for teachers to get adjusted to new technology, aligning it with instructional goals and programs, and to use with daily plans and lessons will enhance the entire learning experience for students and teachers alike. Thus, one needs to ensure that the deployment of new tech is relevant to the curriculum.
Being able to test the tech
It is very important to be able to do a test run of the new tech to find out what works best for your school. One way this can be done is by conducting site visits to other areas with a successful educational technology program. In addition, one may consider contacting the company or maker of the tech and ask about piloting before a purchase. Another thing too is to run a dry test of the most important functions of the program before deployment. This way one would be able to determine if the technology is being used effectively if there is anything lacking and what can be enhanced or changed.
Other tips to consider:
- Utilizing apps that may contain inappropriate content. This is especially important for the younger ones.
- Avoid technology that requires the creation of user accounts. This can prove quite cumbersome to students to have to remember several passwords and different accounts.
- Use educational technology that is not distracting for e.g. YOUTUBE with its suggestions. Alternatively, applications with a lot of advertisement. Embedding content into a website can eliminate the distracting factor.
- Never use sites or applications that are blocked by the school network or it may cause a breach of security.
Hopefully, a well-rounded list which covered shareholder right down to educational applications will help one to avoid some mistakes with the deployment of Educational Technology.