Strategies for Technology, Networks, and Hardware
Building from our digital learning framework that informs our TRAx tools for K12 education, we offer strategies for technology, networks, and hardware that will help your digital learning initiative start in the right direction. The key to successful implementation of technology, networks, and hardware is strategic use of resources. This includes existing equipment, funding, and future purchasing decisions. Districts can make great progress toward a successful digital learning initiative by carefully planning the use and allocation of resources.
Strategies for Technology, Networks, and Hardware: What are the needs?
Conducting a needs assessment is an essential starting place for schools and districts. This process can gather data on all of the components of digital learning, including inventories of existing devices, data on network traffic, and stakeholders’ perceptions of current access. Best conducted by an external individual with broad knowledge of digital learning environments, a needs assessment involves gathering data from all stakeholders to provide a clear picture of the current state of operations, define the desired state, and identify any gaps between the two. Strategies can then be developed in order to close these gaps and achieve the district’s or school’s digital learning vision.
Strategies for Technology, Networks, and Hardware: What do stakeholders think?
It is important to involve all stakeholders in the process of choosing a digital learning model that’s best suited to your context, selecting specific devices for use in schools, looking at a variety of purchasing and leasing plans, and piloting different options (including models and devices) whenever possible to gather data to inform final decisions. Plans that look viable on paper may prove to be unwieldy or inadequate in reality. Pilot testing provides valuable information to help districts and schools avoid costly deployment and implementation mistakes.
Strategies for Technology, Networks, and Hardware: How will you know it works?
While educators would likely not consider teaching students without including an assessment, we often fail to identify goals and measures for technology initiatives. When you purchase and allocate equipment, how will you assess the impact? What measures will you use to determine if your efforts resulted in equitable access to resources? What data can inform your decision-making along the way in terms of technology, networks, and hardware decisions? Setting clear goals and measuring progress towards those goals is an essential component of a successful implementation.
There are certainly other considerations and strategies, but these should get you started! If you need additional help or resources, contact the professionals at Metiri Group. We’d love to assist! Next week we’re on to defining the next piece of the framework: Data and privacy.