4 Steps to Driving a Successful Digital Transformation
Digital transformation in our schools is no longer just something it would be nice to have in the future. The rapid changes in the world around us make it a necessity here in the present. If your school or district has not yet undertaken the task, there is a good chance your students are leaving school unprepared for the challenges they will face in the 21st century.
But the process is far from easy. When you take into consideration concerns about the budget, infrastructure, and training, it can seem impossible.
Here are the steps to driving a successful digital transformation.
- Implement meaningful professional development for teachers and administrators. Educators are in drastically different places when it comes to technology use. Quality professional development must be flexible to meet the needs of the digital native as well as the digital novice. Mentorship and collaboration should be built into the professional development structure so that teachers can learn from each other. Administrators also need to be thoroughly trained in technology initiatives so that they can better support their teachers.
- Be realistic in assessing the strengths and needs of students. It’s a fact that most students are more tech-savvy than their teachers. But you should never assume that your techie students know how to harness technology for the specific purpose of supporting their learning. Students need to be taught how to do this. Many times, teachers assume that a student’s distractibility when using technology reveals a lack of motivation; but it just means that students need more direction. Encourage a mutually supportive environment in which teachers and students can learn from each other.
- Spend money wisely. Well-intentioned school planners waste thousands of dollars every year on the next great technology initiative without considering what the ultimate outcome will be. For example, they may simply purchase a device for every student without articulating exactly what they are going to learn or achieve by having and using this device. Tie every expenditure to specific learning goals.
- Document evidence of learning outcomes. Keep track of data or student work that shows improvement as a result of the use of technology. Test scores, classroom observations, and student portfolios can all be used to document success and growth. Reflect on how new technology may or may not have impacted these results.
As cumbersome as it appears, a digital transformation that is undertaken and planned with care empowers you to prepare students for their world…instead of ours.