- Schools should leverage education technology as a means to change the classroom dynamic, rather than use it as a replacement for teaching, according to Michele Eaton, an administrator featured in an Edscoop article.
- Eaton, an IT leader with the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, is careful to use ed tech in “meaningful ways.” For example, teachers can use data gleaned from applications to further blend the classroom learning environment.
- Though technology is useful in the classroom, Eaton urges teachers to continue receiving professional development on district ed tech programs so they can take full advantage of the capabilities.
Implementing a successful ed tech rollout means having a well-defined plan that includes the “whys” and “hows” behind it. A strong support infrastructure is critical. Also, digital initiatives need to focus on the needs of the students and remove the silos that separate district departments. That's one reason why experts suggest that district IT professionals consult with teachers before making major ed tech purchases.
One of the worst case scenarios is for a district to spend time, money and resources on purchasing technology that is never actually used. Application effectiveness varies widely, and in order for these applications to be effective, educators need to carefully track and assess the data.
The best district IT leaders also question how an application will empower students before a purchase is made. Game-based learning applications, for example, can give the genre a bad name if they're not advancing students' learning. While ed tech products can contribute to the educational process, an intentional plan is critical for the plan to be successful.