Planning for and implementing the use of technology tools and systems in a district
Technology in education is about more than devices: districts must have plans in place for implementing connectivity, devices, learning apps, and open educational resources. While providing broad access to technology has the potential to enhance student learning and engagement, it also comes with challenges, from using evidence to select appropriate tools and materials, to making sure the many applications and systems in place are interoperable. Explore the challenges related to Technology & Network Infrastructure -- Edtech Procurement & Adoption, Technology Access, Data Interoperability, and Open Educational Resources -- below.
Districts spend a great deal of time selecting, integrating, and evaluating educational technologies and products. But there is an overwhelming number of available edtech products, about which there is often an insufficient evidence base for making decisions about adoption in a particular district context. Additionally, formal pilots can be challenging to conduct. How can district make informed decisions about which products to adopt and scale?
Many districts strive to provide each student with a device to support productivity and access to the Internet and learning applications. But the roll out of student access initiatives such as “one to one” is requires a clearly articulated vision, considerable professional development, and technical infrastructure and support. How can districts commit to broadly providing technology access while ensuring the tech is used to best support the teaching and learning goals of the district?
Students and teachers use many education applications in schools. But it is challenging to integrate data from all of these applications into one usable interface. Teachers spend a lot of time switching between applications and dashboards in order to understand student progress. It is also difficult to combine the data in a cohesive way because applications and organizations label and store data in different ways. How can districts create actionable and interoperable data systems?
Many districts are experimenting with implementing open educational resources (OER). But it can be difficult to build educator awareness of OER and to help schools and teachers understand how to best select, use, and implement OER. Additionally, it is challenging for educators to find OER aligned with their curriculum and targeted to their instructional needs, and to assess the quality of OER. How can districts effectively implement and scale the use of OER?