Developing Your Timeline and Assembling Your Team - Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Developing Your Timeline and Assembling Your Team

Developing Your Timeline and Assembling Your Team

Assembling the Planning & Rollout Team

A cross-functional team is critical to ensuring all stakeholders are heard and contribute to your 1:1 device implementation’s success. Bringing personnel into the program after planning has started may hinder your team’s ability to get things done, as not all members may feel ownership of the program. Consider both district and school representation at all levels, including:

  • District IT leaders who bring the perspective of management and decision-making authority on the budget, filtering, and network load to the collaborative meetings
  • District or school family engagement leaders who ensure parents and caregivers are able to access critical information about the program and that their buy-in is secured
  • District curriculum and instructional technology leaders who align the rollout to curriculum and instructional technology initiatives and goals already in place
  • District and school professional learning leaders who focus on supporting teachers with coaching, training, and resources
  • School administrators and school IT specialists who customize the rollout for the unique culture and needs of each school.
  • School teacher leaders who support school coaches in scaling instructional strategies
  • Student leaders who serve on the tech team and help test tools like filtering and provide tech support to students, parents, and teachers
  • Parent leaders who provide an out-of-school use perspective and help provide buy-in

To start the planning process, identify a rollout director tasked with coordinating across all stakeholders. Depending on the scale of the rollout—if it’s happening at one school or in parallel across many in the district—the rollout director may be a school- or district-level employee. The rollout director will ensure everything is in place for a successful rollout (see Rollout Readiness Checklist below).

Preparing the Team for Rollout

Rollout is the culmination of months of work on the part of the district and school team (see Rollout Timeline below). You have been working with students on digital citizenship, teachers on leveraging tech in the classroom, and parents/guardians on understanding what always available access at home means. Though everyone is excited to get devices into the hands of students as quickly as possible, it is important not to rush the rollout; everyone involved needs to be ready to manage and use the devices. Readiness looks different for each group of stakeholders:

  • Teachers have participated in professional learning tied to both digital citizenship and their curriculum. Teachers should have technology-integrated lessons ready to deploy as soon as students receive their devices so that students can see the immediate benefit and enhancement that integrated technology can have on their learning.
  • Students have begun instruction on digital citizenship curriculum and know their responsibilities in regard to responsible use and care of devices. (This instruction should be ongoing throughout the course of the year.)
  • Parents/Caregivers have access to resources and training opportunities to learn about the device, including:
    • how their student will use the device for learning
    • what “responsible use” entails for students
    • any financial obligations and how the device protection plan works for their students
  • IT teams, district leaders, and principals have created processes and systems that support students, teachers, and parents/caregivers in leveraging the technology for powerful use and are ready to support the team as needs arise.

There must be accountability between all parties involved in order for a 1:1 program to be successful. It is a balance between coach, principal, and IT support, and each member of the team must know their role. Each campus must have complete buy-in to the 1:1 program for success.

In order to help build that buy-in, leverage teacher leaders as technology ambassadors. It is helpful to have one teacher from each content area on your campus serve on a team of “pioneers” or early technology adopters. These teachers are leaders who are able to incorporate digital tools into the content they teach in the classroom. The teacher leaders can model use of technology and serve as curricular support when it comes to incorporating technology tools.

In addition, it is important to build support for students and teachers for when the coach or technician is absent. Collaborate with each other regularly to debrief issues that impact student learning. For example, if technical support notes that students are not bringing their devices to campus, the coach should work with teachers to make sure they are providing impactful lessons that require students to bring their devices to school.

Use existing site-based technicians to train new techs for supporting 1:1 programs in schools. Meet regularly to discuss troubleshooting tips, new information, and how to work together to manage and solve technical systemic issues. Internal chat threads are helpful for quick-fix problems and could serve as a beginning for documenting some of the issues that come with 1:1 devices and house possible solutions for new technicians. Provide targeted learning for the technical team and also consider a summer gathering with coaches and technicians to generate best solutions for student users.

District IT leads should visit each school regularly to make sure everything is running as it should and assist the site-based technician in troubleshooting outlying issues. District IT leadership should also regularly meet with principals to learn about any end-user issues, talk through processes, and share best practices implemented by other principals in the district. It will be beneficial to build collaborative relationships between all principals and technical support staff so that the program becomes more sustainable with valid processes and procedures.

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