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Before You Launch Ed Tech, Build Your Foundation

24 Jun 2015 by Desiree Samson

The U.S. ranks number 14 out of 39 developed countries. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlined the Department of Education’s plan to leverage technology, saying that as a nation we need to be “regaining our leadership and ensuring America’s ability to complete in a global economy.”

Parents, teachers, students and anyone invested in education will have questions. Here are points to consider when answering:

Why does education have to include so much technology?

  • Sixty-two percent of working Americans use technology in their jobs.
  • Assessments and tests — from the Common Core State Standards to GED — are migrating online.
  • By 2018, the U.S. is projected to be short 3 million high-skilled workers.
  • Technology aids in credit recovery, remediation and differentiated instruction.
  • Discuss how edtech is a tool in light of budget cuts and teacher shortages.

What is blended learning?

  • Have clear definitions of the instructional models you use.i
  • Reinforce the importance of teachers in those models.
  • Be able to walk a parent through what their child’s day looks like.
  • Allow the parents to demo the curriculum you are using.
  • Discuss how this model allows more flexibility for each student.

How is the school going to make this sustainable?

  • Understand the E-rate and your school’s eligibility.
  • Make sure your IT team is a part of the conversation from the start.
  • Identify and be able to name your school’s key technology advocates.
  • Have a professional development plan in place.
  • Map out your edtech plan from your goals to measuring those goals.

How is my student and their data being safeguarded?

  • Be able to cover “The Student Digital Privacy Act.”
  • Know the student-data policy of the education companies you partner with.
  • Have a Digital Citizenship policy — and even course — in place.
  • Discuss how you use — and don’t use — student data.

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