How to Create a Technology Plan for Your School
Technology has become the new normal in schools today, and for good reason — it can be an effective tool that can help kids learn in the classroom. Technology can aid students in researching and allow teachers to teach a complicated subject more easily. And while technology may be effective in a school setting, it mostly depends on how the school uses it.
Putting phones, tablets and laptops in a classroom is one thing, but a school’s main strategy should be figuring out how to integrate these technologies into the curriculum itself. Once you do this, then that technology becomes even more effective. This theory has given way to what’s known today as a technology plan.
What Is a Technology Plan?
A technology plan is a strategy that outlines how devices — phones, tablets and laptops — will be integrated into an organization’s daily structure. A school technology plan means determining how administrators, teachers, and students alike will be using this technology to their benefit. It includes factors such as budgeting, research, integration and ongoing assessment.
A comprehensive technology plan can offer many advantages to a school, including:
One of the best parts of a technology plan is that it offers organization. You’ll be able to see each step of the process laid out before you and know exactly how to proceed. Integrating technology into your organization can be a daunting task and it’s easy to get caught up in all the muddled details throughout the process. A technology plan keeps you on track and lets you know where you are on the journey.
A technology plan also helps you craft a vision. Many times, people may just see the benefits of technology and start hauling new tablets and laptops into their organization, hoping it will help boost productivity. But shoveling new technology into a building may create more harm than good since most people will not know how to integrate these new devices into their new routine.
A technology plan lets you identify why exactly you’re adding technology into your organization and helps you determine what goals you want to reach with it. These goals will give your technology plan purpose and give administrators, teachers and students alike something to strive for.
When you introduce technology into your school, you want it to be effective. In order to make it effective, you need a detailed plan with actionable steps outlining exactly what you need to do. This plan will ensure that the new technology you’re introducing will live up to its expectations within your organization.
Organization, vision and effectiveness are all great reasons to create a technology plan. With these advantages, you may be wondering how to craft a technology plan of your own.
10 Steps to Create a Technology Plan
A technology plan should be comprehensive, covering steps from the initial outlining process to a plan for ongoing assessment. The more thorough your plan, the more effective it’s likely going to be. Here are some steps you can use in your technology plan for your school.
1. Outline Your Goals and Set a Purpose
The first thing you’ll want to do while building your technology plan is to outline your goals and set a purpose. As with all plans, outlining what you want out of it will help you frame the strategy and bring it to life. Instead of wandering aimlessly through technology integration, you can have a framework on which to build.
Likewise, giving your technology plan a purpose will help make the technology you do provide that much more effective. Your purpose may vary depending on what you want and it will likely take multiple purposes into account, such as:
- Improve leadership: Technology can vastly improve teaching abilities and offer organizational skills for administrators. If you’ve identified that more leadership is needed in your school, then technology can be a great tool to help you do that.
- Streamline programs: Technology also offers a way to streamline programs and communication. Administrators and teachers can work together via social platforms, working together to plan after-school programs or events. Technology creates ways to organize and plan without having to have everyone in one place at a specific time.
- Offer advantages in the classroom: One of the main reasons school administrators integrate technology is because of the benefits it offers in the classroom. Most children are already very familiar with tablets, laptops and phones — technology offers an exciting and familiar way for students to research and complete assignments inside a school environment. It can also give students the tools to succeed outside of the classroom, as so many jobs today use technology to function.
- Modernize your school: A technology plan can also be a way to modernize your school. So many schools now use technology in their buildings to communicate, teach and learn. Integrating technology will help bring your school up to modern standards and help everyone in the environment succeed.
These are just some of the purposes and goals you may identify during the initial stages of crafting your technology plan. You may be seeking another purpose for your technology plan, like safety or convenience — it all depends on your specific situation. In order to find these goals and purpose, you may need to do a little bit more research.
2. Conduct Research
Research will help you figure out why you need technology and how it can help your school. Here are a few tips that can aid you during the research stage:
- Conduct inventory: Figure out what technology you already have in your school. How old is it? Are you looking to simply upgrade old technology or introduce all new devices? Find the answers to these questions and conduct a comprehensive inventory check so that you’re aware of what you already have in the school.
- Determine present usage: You should also look at how much your school is using technology already. Finding the usage of the technology you already have will help determine which devices are effective and which ones you can upgrade.
- Visit other sites: It’s hard to craft a successful technology plan until you see one that’s already operating efficiently. If you can, visit other schools that have effectively integrated technology into their curriculum. You’ll be able to see what works, talk through potential challenges with other teachers and administrators and gain knowledge about their technology plan.
- Use surveys: One of the best ways to gather research is to simply talk to your faculty and students. They’re the ones who are going to be using this technology on a daily basis, after all, so it’s important to get their take and see how they would like technology to be introduced into their school day. This can be done in the form of simple conversations or with more macro-level studies like surveys.
However you choose to do it, it’s essential that you conduct and gather as much research as you can. The more research you have, the easier it will be to make the right decisions for integrating technology.
3. Review Research
When you’ve collected what you need, make sure you review this research and organize it. Identify how much technology you already have and how much it’s being used. Examine the data from your site visits and see what conclusions you can pull from it. Look over any survey results or notes on conversations you had with faculty and students. All of this will help craft an effective technology plan that you can be confident in.
4. Communicate with Stakeholders
Most of the school will likely be impacted by the introduction of new technology. For that reason, it’s important to get everyone’s opinion on the subject. Clearly, you won’t be able to make everyone happy, but you may be able to identify central themes that you can build off of.
During this step, you should also start crafting a budget for your technology plan. Start building out the expenses and figure out how much of an investment you’re willing to put down for your technology plan.
5. Find the Right Technology
While crafting a technology plan and outlining these actionable steps can be hugely beneficial, one of the most important parts of the process is figuring out which technology to use. Usually, you’ll be choosing between three main types of devices for your technology plan:
- Phones: Mobile devices are largely reserved for faculty. Phones can offer a central way for administrators and teachers to communicate throughout the day. They’re a great way to improve safety and streamline planning.
- Tablets: Tablets are becoming more popular in classrooms because of their versatility — they’re great for all classroom ages because students are able to draw, type and research. They can adapt to all different types of curriculums and are also usually quite durable, making them a flexible, effective investment.
- Laptops: Laptops are one of the most popular types of devices in classrooms. These can aid students in research and help them complete assignments. Products like Chromebooks offer an effective way for students to utilize technology.
Whether you’ll be instituting one type of device or a mixture of all three, it’s important to take a look at the characteristics of each to see which will be most beneficial for your school’s environment.
6. Offer Professional Training
Many children have grown up using technology, so they’re likely already versed in how to use it. Teachers and faculty, on the other hand, may struggle more with figuring out how to use new technology. Offer ongoing professional training that teaches faculty how to use these devices. When this new technology plan is finally unveiled, your faculty will be ready and confident in how to utilize the devices.
7. Integrate Technology into the Curriculum
Once you’ve decided which technology you’re going to use, trained your faculty and looked over the research, you can make your final decision and start integrating technology into the school. As you do, make sure you’re communicating with faculty and students about what the technology is for and why you’ve decided to include it into the curriculum.
When done properly, these devices should act as a tool that both faculty and students can use throughout the day to achieve their goals. It’s important that these devices act as an aid to education rather than a distraction during the learning process. With a clear directive and an open line of communication describing how the technology should be used, students and faculty will be able to take advantage of the new devices.
8. View the Results
Make sure you’re monitoring how the devices are impacting your school environment. Take time see how students and teachers are integrating technology into their days. Take notes on what’s working and what could be improved. Ask around to see how everyone is handling the new changes.
9. Offer Technical Support
When you’re introducing new technology to your school, you want to be confident that the infrastructure is sound. Make sure you have an experienced team in place that can install and monitor the functionality of all of your new devices. Faculty and students may be able to alleviate some issues on their own, but for other challenges, you’ll likely need an experienced technician on hand who can help.
You should also make sure you have the necessary storage and maintenance methods available to keep your devices working properly. Innovative products like charging carts can offer multiple benefits in one, allowing students to easily access fully-charged devices. Finding products like these could be the small help you need to make your technology plan succeed.
10. Ensure Ongoing Assessment
Your school technology plan is a work in progress. Along the way, you’ll likely encounter challenges that need to be addressed and fixed. This is all part of the process and you should expect small hiccups along the way.
With these helpful steps for how to create a technology plan, you’ll be better prepared when those challenges do arise.
Why Choose PowerGistics?
Creating a technology plan can be hard work. There are a lot of steps to keep track of and a lot of work to be done. When you do begin introducing those new devices to your curriculum, it’s important to have quality products that will help everyone involved take advantage of the new technology.
PowerGistics offers charging carts that effectively store, charge and keep your devices safe — all at the same time. Instead of spending time untangling cords and finding lost devices, our charging carts give students an easy way to retrieve and store their devices. Our innovative designs emphasize ease of access, germ-fighting coatings and security.
You can choose from a variety of different designs and sizes that cater to mobile devices, tablets and laptops. Choose a cart that you can wheel around from classroom to classroom or a stationary cart that can stay in one designated area of the room. PowerGistics offers plenty to choose from so that you can find an option that is right for your situation.
Contact Us Today
Crafting a technology plan for a school involves a lot of moving parts. You want to make sure that the parts you can control are of the highest quality. PowerGistics can offer you that quality with our innovative charging carts. Contact us today!