Technology has made our everyday lives infinitely easier. From any smartphone you can order a pizza, book a taxi, listen to your favourite album, catch up on the latest news, tweet your favourite celebrities, rent an apartment and book flights to the other side of the world. All this potential is within a few clicks reach, but is technology making your working life easier? As a leader in education you're responsible for the development of hundreds, maybe even thousands of students. You're responsible for your school's performance and hitting the targets set out, and you're in charge of managing a lot of staff.
Technology should be making your job easier, but in many of the schools I visit it is not. If anything it's made things more difficult as it has become complex and ineffective. Technology is now a vital part of running a school, and its role is only going to grow in the coming years. The schools of the future who excel are those that will embrace this. This isn't about putting iPads or computers into the hands of every student. It is about improving the capability of every one of your staff, improving the productivity of your school, and improving the consistency of every lesson.
You're about to undertake a new project involving technology. It could be to buy new iPads, it might be to install a new server or improve your wireless network. You could even be building a new school. These are things that you must get right and having the right players on your team is vital in ensuring that you find the best solution and get the best value for your budget. Over the past 12 months I've consulted on:
- The Department of Education's National Academies Program
- The Kansas School Board (500,000 students)
- MTTEP EU Project (involving 7 countries)
There's already a lot of technology out in schools already, so you might just need some coaching and support on how to make best use of it to ensure that it impacts on student progress. Coaching is about focusing on the pedagogical benefits that technology can provide the whole school. This isn't app or device training that is only applicable in a few lessons. It's about bringing about whole school improvement. Coaching will improve:
- The impact you see on student progress
- The benefits across the whole school
- A framework for how to approach technology in the future