I have spent a great deal of time lately in managing a 1:1 roll out of iPads to students from K to 6. What needs to be realised is that this isn’t a simple process. There are a number of vital parts that need to be considered in the process. I found an excellent article by Monica Beglau, Ed.D., Executive Director, and Lorie Kaplan, Ph.D. , eMINTS Program Director for the eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri. The article is titled “Technology without Supports: Like Cotton Candy for Breakfast”.
In the article the authors identify key elements in implementing a successful technology program.
“Leadership – leadership at all levels is essential and the principal is one of the most important variables in large-scale technology implementations.
A clear vision and goals connect the technology implementation to identified instructional priorities agreed upon by all stakeholders.
Ongoing professional development support provides principals with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve teacher buy-in and to understand best practices that support technology-transformed learning.
Technology support and infrastructure – beyond the computing devices themselves, it takes a high level of teamwork to ensure that classrooms are supported so that any barriers to using the devices are minimized.
A plan is in place to provide technology staff with the resources needed to support the devices, the network, and the maintenance issues that impact implementations.
Professional development – teachers and administrators have access to professional learning opportunities that incorporate evidence-based elements.”
In our own small circumstance we have tried to address all of these elements. We have found that to some extent this is a bottomless pit. Of course there isn’t really an end because the ground keeps changing and we can always improve. We must just remain actively evolving.