2017 is almost over and, if you are a school technologist, you have been arduously working on tech support and development for your school or district; your mind has probably been bogged down with WiFi Network optimization, managed network security, curriculum integration, and data backups, to name a few things.
December is a great month to do a self-assessment of what you accomplished in the year, explore how you can make 2018 even better for your school and district, and set some initial bite-size goals to do so.
Take a few minutes to answer the following questions about how the year went for you.
- List your top-three achievements for the year. This could be something big, small or anywhere in between. What are you most proud of?
- List three challenges you overcame this year. What was hard? What are you proud of overcoming or dealing with?
- What are three new things you learned about EdTech? This could be anything—a skill, technique, useful facts, lesson learned, etc.
- What three technologies or software that were new to the school/district did you implement this year?
- What three things were left on the 2017 “to-do list” that you’d like to tackle in 2018?
Plan for Success
Here are a few tips and resources on goals you may want to tackle in Q1 of 2018.
- Based on your answer to question 5 above, take 20 minutes to calendar the first steps needed to set each to-do-list item in motion for 2018.
- Schedule a block of 1-2 hours per week to explore multiple technologies you could implement for the 2018-2019 school year or sooner to make the biggest difference for teaching and learning at your school or district.
- Assess who are the right stakeholders, from teachers to superintendents, to discuss the specific technologies you have been evaluating since January and schedule a meeting with all or short meetings with each.
- Begin scheduling trial and pilot programs for the technologies you are considering.
- Schedule a March tech ‘Spring Cleaning’ for yourself, your teachers and staff. Whether 10 minutes or several hours are scheduled, this time could be used for purging mailboxes, unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that are time drainers, getting rid of outdated materials and tech tools that no longer match the school/district technology and curriculum development plans.
Suggested EdTech to Evaluate
FrontRow Classroom Audio (aka voice amplification and soundfield) – it requires close to zero teacher training, the implementation is speedy, and there’s extensive independent research proving its direct positive impact on student engagement, student participation, and academic outcomes.
Why it’s a favorite among technologists:
- Minimal to no training needed for instructors
- Can be implemented in just one classroom or networked across a campus
- Its one-touch lesson capture from the teacher microphone, which creates MP4s that swiftly get saved to the destination decided upon simple setup.
Why teachers love it:
- The teacher microphone necklace saves their voices
- Helps them get students more involved and better retain lesson content
Why districts love them:
- Nearly immediate, measurable teaching and learning results
- It is one of the most cost-effective tech solutions per student
- 8 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Classroom Sound
- 8 Steps to Evaluating EdTech Products
- How to Prepare Your Staff for a New Technology Curriculum in K-12 Schools
Celebrating your 2017 victories, getting your ducks in a row for next year, and making time to evaluate how new technologies work in tandem to help achieve your school/district curriculum goals (for instance, FrontRow classroom audio helps increase reading scores) provides a great framework for making 2018 another year of accomplishments!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- Image from iStock collection
K12 Edtech, K-12 Education Technology