Steps to Successfully Piloting an Education Technology Project
Many new education technology tools are on the market, and each claims it will improve learner learning. However, before your district can put promising new tech in the classroom, you’ll need to assess if the tech lives up to its marketing claims. These steps will help you pilot education technology successfully.
Determine Your Objectives
You first need a vision of what you want to achieve with the new tech. Whether it’s improved test scores or increased literacy rates, you must ensure the goal is stated and shared. Your goal should be tied to your district’s priorities.
Find Education Technology Product Options
Identify the resources that could help achieve your goals. Once you have a list, reach out to educators, tech directors, and administrators at other school districts that have piloted these technologies. Learn about the pros and cons of the products and best practices for using them in the classroom. Leveraging the experience of other school districts will help ensure your pilot has a likelihood of success.
Select Appropriate Educators and Learners for the Pilot
Depending on your goals, the piloted tech might be aimed at the entire learner population or a specific subset. Make sure all groups of learners that will use the product in its final rollout are represented in your pilot population.
Use a Pre-Assessment to Assess the “Before” State of the Pilot Learners
To analyze whether the pilot impacts your goals, you must start with a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the learners in the pilot program.
Train Educators on the Tech and Instructional Methods that Leverage it
Educators who will use the pilot tech need to have access to it before the pilot begins to get familiar with the tech. They will require training on the tech itself, as well as how to best leverage it in the classroom.
Use a Post-Assessment to Test Learner Mastery and Analyze Results
Once the pilot is complete, assess learners again to determine the tool’s impact on their mastery. Where were the school district’s goals met? The decision to move forward with a full rollout of the tools or discontinue their use should be based on this data.
Summarize Pilot Results and Best Practices and Share Them with the District Community
To gain a broad buy-in for the new education technology tool and to leverage best practices learned in the pilot, results must be recorded and shared broadly.
Negotiate and Purchase Education Technology Tools
Once you determine that the tool meets district goals, you can move forward with the purchase.