- Schools need to look at recent studies that suggest ways to gain the best return on investment for their technology choices, as the cost of implementation of ineffective ed tech can be as high as $220 per student, according to Ed Tech: Focus on K-12.
- A recent survey from Smart Technologies, titled “EdTech Capabilities and Learning Outcomes,” indicates that schools with higher student outcomes were more likely to focus on tech that promotes student collaboration, learning games and assessments; gives students more control over their learning; and provides teachers with opportunities for professional development and leadership training.
- Schools also increase their return on investment when they effectively implement technology by involving teachers in buying decisions and training them to understand how to use the new tools and integrate them in the classroom, according to the study “Incomplete EdTech Implementation: Understanding the Hidden Costs.”
The world of educational technology is an enticing one that offers the promise of ways to engage students in learning and also help teachers easily track their progress. But when faced with the ever-shifting array of innovative technologies that become available, it is easy for school leaders to reach for the newest shiny trinket and end up wasting money on tech they do not truly need. Seeking the advice of experts in the field and reading reviews from other educators can help make these decisions clearer.
However, technology in a box does little to support student progress. One of the newest tasks facing school administrators is that of helping teachers become comfortable with ed tech so that it can be implemented with greatest effect in the classroom and can live up to its promise. As in recent years, this continued to be a hot topic panelists discussed at ISTE. As administrators learn more about these technologies during the summer months, they can plan for professional development on these issues as school begins.
School leaders also need to approach technology with a clear sense of the role they want it to play in education. Tech is a tool, not the driver, of education. As Alex Inman, the founder of Educational Collaborators, said in a 2016 Ed Tech article, “The schools that do it well tie professional development around technology into a larger framework of learning goals and the mission of the school. They’re looking for growth over time as technology is integrated into the classroom. They don’t look at it short-term, even if they’re training for a specific tool.”