Technology changes so rapidly that it can be hard for schools to keep up. Is your school riding the wave of change or is it drowning?
Here are the ten habits of tech-savvy schools so you can see how yours measures up.
- They make ongoing professional development a priority. When it comes to technology, last year’s hot new trend is this year’s old news. Successful schools provide ongoing, quality training to help educators keep up.
- They invest in the right equipment. Tech-savvy schools make solid investments in equipment that meets their needs, whether it be interactive whiteboards, tablets, and/or a Chromebook for every student. Funds are allocated thoughtfully and wisely.
- Technology use is frequent and widespread. When you visit the classrooms in a tech-savvy school, you see that almost everyone is using technology in some form, whether it be the middle-school Social Studies teacher giving a PowerPoint presentation or a third-grader using an app to predict the weather.
- They have a clear plan. Tech-savvy schools plan ahead, taking into account projected changes in budget, infrastructure, and student population. They plan carefully so that technology integration is purposeful.
- They involve all stakeholders. Successful schools not only keep parents informed, but also invite them to serve on committees that evaluate technology needs along with teachers, administrators, and maybe even students.
- They have a web presence. Teachers maintain class websites which are frequently updated so that parents can routinely check them for relevant information. The school also has a presence on popular social media platforms which may be used to inform parents and educate the community.
- They have an adequate support staff. Experts are available as needed for troubleshooting and repair. Such repairs are made in a timely manner so that technical glitches never cause much of an interruption in the day-to-day life of the school
- They teach students about online safety and digital citizenship. The challenges that students face online change dramatically on a month-to-month basis. Tech-savvy schools implement an ongoing dialogue with students about safety, etiquette, and the potential far-reaching consequences of misguided sharing.
- Teachers use technology for collaboration and learning. Instead of losing classroom time to attend a conference, teachers engage in online coursework or join communities of like-minded educators on social media.
- Communication occurs via nontraditional formats. Important announcements are made over email instead of via the PA system. Members of the same department may use a blog or other platform to communicate instead of holding traditional meetings.
If you meet all these criteria, then congratulations! Keep up the good work educating children to meet their futures.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.