How to decide if a Technology is Right for Your School

Deciding which technologies to implement in your school can be a difficult problem to hurdle, especially if you as an educator don't have much knowledge in advanced technologies available for educational use today. Yet, even the most technologically illiterate school managers can make the right decision if they follow a few rules when choosing which technologies to use in their schools. Here are a few tips to help you how to decide if a technology is right for your school.

1) The technology makes access to information easy

Educators of years past have always yearned for a way to make information easily accessible to students. Libraries provided a treasure trove of information that students used to great advantage. However, traditional libraries seemed not enough, especially for students who live in far-flung areas and places where libraries are few or there's none at all. With the advent of computers and the internet, access to information became easier. This easy access to information puts the educator and the learner in a position of greater flexibility. Teachers can disseminate information quickly while students can choose when and where to access that information.

The technology does not distract but rather enhances the lessons

Some technology takes away rather than gives. Mobile devices can be distracting when lessons are being discussed. Internet surfing can give students other things to waste their time on rather than the actual lessons that needed to be studied. It is important for the educator to know which technologies would give the most benefits without taking the student's attention away from the lessons they need to learn. One way of making sure students focus on the lessons instead of the distractions provided by new technologies is by providing a way for educators to track the students' activities using the technology chosen by the school.

Pilot tests in other schools have been successful

A reliable and trouble-free way of implementing new technologies in your school is waiting for other schools to test this new technology and finding out the results of such pilot tests. By waiting for other schools to test the new technology first, you get the benefit of getting a better grasp of the technology thru the other school's mistakes and successes. A large number of schools adopting the same technologies mean this technology has now been validated and has therefore been agreed upon by many to be safe, useful, and essential in education.

Your school can afford the cost of implementing this technology

Of course, in any new measures, costs will always need to be taken in consideration. Can your school afford the costs associated with implementing a new technology? Teachers will need to be taught and trained how to use this technology. If new equipment is required to make use of this technology, the school will need to buy these and have it installed. Maintenance will also be an issue. As a school supervisor, you have to keep all these in mind.

Improved learning outcomes validate the technology chosen

Of course, it isn't just enough to observe other schools make use of this technology. Your school has to implement this technology first-hand and make the same observations and adjustments other schools did. Within the first few months of the technology's implementation, learning outcomes must be monitored closely. Do students learn better? Do they become more motivated? Does the technology promote better participation between students and teachers? By performing a close study of the behaviors and academic results of the students before and after implementation, you can find out whether the technology you have chosen is effective in improving learning outcomes or if it just creates more problems for your school.

Exemplary Educational Technology Classroom Practices

  1. Education With New Technologies
  2. ePALS Classroom Exchange
  3. Institute for School Innovation
  4. Quia