Now that the district has made the purchasing decisions for technology, the next task will be to plan the implementation of the technology.
If the new technology is student or teacher devices, here are some questions to consider:
Besides thinking about preparation, distribution, and collection of devices—in other words, planning with the end of the year in mind—what other systems are you going to develop for wellness checks on the devices?
By developing and building systems of data collection and support for new technology, school districts will have optics into their inventory, repairs, and replacement of devices. Periodic and systematic review of the inventory and repair data will assist leaders in understanding where the gaps may reside (e.g., too many broken screens) so they can be addressed quickly by the schools via additional student/teacher education (lesson: always carry your device in its carrying bag) and other preventative measures to reduce breakage.
If you invested in a software solution that keeps track of applications students are using, build in a cadence of data checks to review what is being used in your district. Are students and teachers using the learning management system that was a large investment for the district? If not, what kind of teacher and student learning is necessary to steer them into using the system? If the use does not increase, despite additional professional learning around it, was it a good investment?
Building in systems to monitor and review adoption of the new items purchased will be important during the first year of implementation. Close communication and active collaboration between the instructional and IT staff as well as the professional learning team will be essential during this time to ensure the entire adoption cycle of change management has been completed.
Having good historical data throughout your sustainability and lifecycle planning is helpful. When there are pivots in plans, it is a good idea to make sure you are memorializing the changes somewhere so that the question isn’t asked later down the road, “Why did we change that again?” It is also good to look at your notes and record-keeping as another sustainability tool, as lessons learned can be recorded so the same mistakes aren’t made again. Documentation can also be useful when new personnel join the team and need to be caught up to speed.
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