In this video, you will develop the criteria for evaluating what tech tools are best suited to support learning in your school.
- So one of the reasons why it's really important to think about your problem is because every piece of technology has a set of assumptions baked into it, and those assumptions will influence how the technology works, and it will ultimately influence the behavior of the people. And so this is why thinking about that question of what are you trying to do is so important.
All of which comes back to how are you going to use the technology, and what are those assumptions baked into the technology, that means that you're gonna have a different outcome depending on how you use it, and what the challenges are that you're trying to attack. So we're starting to see some studies that suggest that possibly as much as 40% of the tools aren't getting used. So why is that the case? If you stay focused on what challenge you're trying to solve, and if you bring in your teachers, and they are united along what's the problem we're trying to solve, then that tool gets delivered to them helps.
That tool looks like a magic wand that maybe they can use to solve the problem that they're really struggling with. When district leaders sometimes try to assume that they know what the problem is, and then deliver the solution, and the community hasn't bought in to either the problem or the solution, they'll vote with their feet and they may never turn on that piece of technology, they may never use that tool.
So that's a bad thing because that's a pretty big waste of time and money. Why? If teachers haven't helped articulate a problem that is a real problem that they're trying to solve, they may choose not to use a particular tool. So it's absolutely essential that the teacher voice be a core part of articulating what problem are we trying to solve, and then how do we want to try to address this problem.
Without that teacher voice, without that belief that okay, here's the problem I'm trying to solve, and here's the way I'm gonna solve this, you can buy all the fancy widgets you want but it won't have an impact on the students and the community. In industry we have evolved the concept over the last 20 years of total cost of ownership, that the price of technology isn't just that price ticket that shows up at the beginning, but it's all of the things that you need to do to support the use of a piece of technology throughout its lifetime.
And in a school, that means supporting the teachers. That means, not just giving them that one training session in late August before the kids show up, but it means supporting how they learn to use the tool, giving them opportunities to find support and sometimes maintenance for that tool over the course of the year, continuing to help them understand how do we use this tool to solve the problem at hand. So it isn't just about how do I buy the right tools.
It's how do I make sure my community agrees that I'm buying the right tools, and then what happens once we start using those tools. Do people agree these are the right tools? Here's the approach we're gonna take, and that is their ongoing support, ongoing conversation, ongoing dialogue, an iteration around whether those tools are really solving the problems that they were intended to solve.