How confident are you that you are making the most of education technology?
Sheninger writes about how using technology as an instrument of learning can allow you to equip yourself with the tools you need to teach your students how to find success in an "unpredictable world." And as technology progresses, it teaches educators transformative skills that are necessary for today, such as—"teaching, learning, and leadership."
However, it is just as essential to recognize that technology does not promise our students a better education—in other words, innovation does not lead to comprehension. This only happens when we remain "critical of the process" of integrating technology into our instruction. Otherwise, technology will remain "overpromised and underdelivered."
There are many things that we can do to improve technology integration into our schools. But for now, taking the time to critically read about eight ways to be successful in a digital transformation is a great start to helping your students and your school.
Take note of some key elements—shared from EdTech's Magazine & condensed into a comprehensive list—that are helping schools find success in their digital transformation process.
1. INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE GATEWAY TO INNOVATION
Your initial investment in technology should take place only when you are introducing it in a space that integrates it effectively. The technology we purchase needs to be able to work efficiently. However, it can only do this when the WiFi is secure—allowing your fellow teachers the proper access to their technology.
2. THE RIGHT PEDAGOGICAL FRAMEWORK HELPS SUCCESSFUL TECH IMPLEMENTATION
"Pedagogy trumps technology." You must be asking yourself before integrating technology if you have the proper framework in place to ensure your students that they will have a successful education.
3. PROPER PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PREPARES EDUCATORS
Job-embedded learning opportunities allow you to invest in your teachers and help ensure education opportunities to help your teachers learn about new ways to engage their students by avoiding monotonous educational approaches.
4. DIGITAL LEADERSHIP BREEDS GOOD OUTCOMES
Digital leadership "is about working smarter, not harder"—to help "establish a collective vision, provide support, model expectations, ensure accountability, and constantly reflect in transparent ways in order to improve."
5. AVOID ASSUMPTIONS TO ENSURE SUCCESS
Be open-minded with your students and their behavior. Your assumptions can limit your ability to connect with them and negative expectations can create a barrier if you are not cognizant of its pessimism. "Progress—and ultimately success—is contingent upon removing a myriad of barriers ... that arise as a result of [your] mindset." Ultimately, closed-mindedness can only hold you back.
6. HIGHLIGHT THE EVIDENCE OF IMPROVED OUTCOMES
"Success breeds success. There is no greater motivator than the positive results of any change effort." Ultimately, you need to feel that your actions are important and valued. Renown psychologist, Abraham Maslow, states that self-actualization takes top priority in every human's hierarchy of needs.
7. SMART BUDGETING MAKES SURE TECH SPENDING IS USEFUL
By critically analyzing the amount of money you spend during the school year, you can find ways to make your spending more economical. When given the proper time and attention, it is easy to find ways to free up space in your budget so that you can save money for technological purchases that matter. To do this, you must start by asking yourself the tough question of "How will this technology actually improve learning and achievement at scale?" Only then, can you begin creating a cost-effective plan that lasts.
8. BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND ADMINISTRATORS
By fostering relationships both internally and externally, you can focus your attention on creating a better education support system for your students. You can start by implementing ideas that are inspired by your students so that you can begin to foster a strong relationship with them. Ultimately, your relationships can not progress if you are not "open to critical reflection and evaluation—not just where [you] currently are, but, more important[ly], where [you] want to be."
Read more about how to maximize education technology here: 8 Things to Keep in Mind When Executing a Digital Transformation
If you liked this article, check out how education technology is improving today here: Redefining Learning: How Our Perspective on Technology Changes Everything
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