Top mistakes administrators make while choosing Education Technology (EdTech) solution
When it comes to making mistakes with technology in schools most people tend to think that it is the educators who make them. Little do they know or realize the role of the administrators in such a context. These professionals are ones who are supposed to set the tone for the whole school as such. They are the ones who are supposed to lead by example over here. This is why it is very important that they understand how to choose the technology and put it in place in the right way. The problem is that even now these common mistakes keep getting repeated at all times.
Below have highlighted the top mistakes made by administrators while choosing an Edtech solution for their institution:
1. Implementing technology that they do not understand
In any school, it is always the higher administrators who are supposed to take the decision with regards to expenses. This is why before buying an Edtech solution they need to make sure that they at least understand what they are getting into. This should be done before they even contemplate incorporating the same in the school. This way, they can serve as better role models for the teachers who would be supposed to work with the technology. If they understand the technology straight away. Then they would also be able to understand if the product in question would meet their needs or not.
2. Not keeping the needs of the school in mind
The number of different such solutions in the market these days would amaze them. As a school administrator, they need to have a very clear idea of what the school needs. They should never be distracted by some technology because it happens to be flashy. This is why before they buy any such technology they should first talk with the teachers.
They should find out what their needs and requirements in these areas are. This way, they would be able to come up with a plan for a technology that would meet their needs. This way they would also not be wasting the time of the teachers, lead the students to get frustrated and waste valuable money from the school budget on technology that nobody ever wanted or needed in the first place.
3. Not preparing and educating the teachers
Often, administrators think that teachers would already know how to use the technology that they are going to bring in.
It is true that this is the digital age and almost everyone has some or the other smart device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop at home. These have become like the basic parts of one’s life nowadays. However, that does not necessarily mean that they would be able to use all the different technology out there. Educators have to be trained and prepared so that they are able to use them in an effective manner on a regular basis for teaching the students.
4. Not having a model for technology usage in the school
It is the administrators who are supposed to set the standards for what is acceptable in the school and what is not when it comes to use of technology. This is why they need to put in a lot of attention on creating a model for using technology in the school. They need to be able to make the most of the technology that they already have. This, in turn, would help them show their staff what could be done with the technology that the school already has at its disposal. Administrators who set the bar in terms of usage of technology show the way for staff.
This way, they also get a proper idea of how helpful the present solutions would be.
5. Using paper to send memos
This may not be directly related to the issue that we are talking about over here. But it is still a major issue in the context of this discussion as it reflects a common malaise among school administrators when it comes to choosing and implementing the technology. This ultimately plays a part in the choice of such implements as well. Administrators often print out memos on paper and staff the mailboxes and lockers of their teachers with the same.
This can be a really time-consuming affair especially for schools which happen to be bigger. Administrative staff may not always realize this but this way they may end up spending valuable time that could have been better utilized for other work. They can always use this time to do other work that is more productive or important such as filling out paperwork. This, in fact, refers to the previous point that we already talked about. Administrators need to start using the likes of email for such purposes. Important notifications and updates can easily be sent through such systems that can be implemented all across the school. Not only does this save valuable resources and time, but it also helps eliminate the use of paper as well.
6. Thinking that the choices are limited
These days, there are plenty of Edtech service providers in the market. In fact, the surge has been noticeable in the last 7 odd years where the number has multiplied at an exponential rate. The best part of such products is that they are being created for all kinds of users – and at times specifically for them as well. Now administrators can easily choose the best Edtech for their school.
There are some other issues in this regard as well such as analysis paralysis, not really pinpointing the problem before buying such technology, and not making the best possible decisions in this regard. Analysis paralysis is a side effect of the multitude of choices that school administrators have in this regard now. Administrators always end up comparing the pluses and minuses of various such products, which means that in the end, they are in a perpetual state of confusion. They over consult!
So, these are a few mistakes that the school administrators need to be wary of when it comes to these matters.