Over many years of guiding schools and districts on integrating technology and instruction, the costliest mistake I see is the rush to purchase hardware and software without first identifying a
clear purpose and plan for the new technology. This kind of oversight can lead to misuse or neglect of expensive equipment and systems, resulting in little of the intended impact on student learning outcomes.
Before you add new technologies to your school or district, here are six vital questions—and a few related ones—I recommend you ask first to help you look before you launch.
Why are we doing this?
This may sound obvious, but, too often, schools launch new technology initiatives before clearly defining the intent. Are you preparing for online assessments? Is the new technology meant to make teacher tasks more efficient? Are you trying to increase student engagement or creativity? All of these reasons have merit and you might even say, “Yes, all of those and more!” As a first step, it is imperative to define your goals clearly, and long before you make any major purchases.