- Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education, advises administrators to follow an informed process to get the most out of ed tech, including laying a strong foundation rather than focusing on the technology first.
- Sheninger writes for EdTech: Focus on K-12 that schools should focus on infrastructure like Wi-Fi access and space design before integrating technology and put a pedagogical framework in place to guide implementation — he recommends the Rigor Relevance Framework over SAMR.
- From there job-embedded professional learning, strong digital leadership, smart budgeting and relationship building throughout the school community are key elements of a successful transformation, along with the practice of highlighting success to build momentum.
Sheninger is the former principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey. He was a reluctant convert to embracing digital technology in classrooms but his school was the first in the state to allow a bring-your-own-device policy more than five years ago. Sheninger also ushered in a new way to think about public space, providing charging stations, games in common areas, a nap room and Wi-Fi even outside of the school’s walls.
One way New Milford High School was able to fund its tech ambitions was by sharing its success widely. Sheninger became an active blogger and tweeter, capturing the interest of deep-pocketed donors who wanted to be a part of the school’s story. Beyond offering an example for schools about an internal transformation, Sheninger’s story can be a guide for principals who want to become more outward-facing as well.