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:
- What is the delivery date of the items? Will global supply chain issues impact the timing of when the product will be delivered to your school district?
- Will you be paying for white glove service to have the devices prepared for student use (asset tags and other device labels, installation of software, enrollment into an administrative console, etc.)?
- Have you paid for the requisite licenses to use the devices?
- How will the items be added to your asset management system and paired with your student or teacher?
- Will you be collecting devices at the end of the year? Will you provide the same device to the same student the following year? If so, how will you collect and store the devices for easy distribution the following year?
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?
- Will there be ongoing digital citizenship lessons for your students and an easy and anonymous way for students to report violations?
- Will you have weekly wellness checks on devices done by school personnel so that the district can keep up with the timely repairs needed so that students have a functioning device at all times?
- What system will you develop so students and teachers know where to go to turn in a broken device and receive a loaner to use until their device is repaired?
- How often will inventory be done on the devices? Will changes be made in the asset management system?
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.