What we can sometimes forget is how this also applies to the adults in the school. At the school administration level, Principals and Heads of School should try to get the knowledge necessary to apply "best practices" in technology use within their own personal areas. As the line between professional and personal life gets blurred, becoming a proficient technology user should cover also the needs of your personal life. Besides, you know you learn best when it's about something you care about!
Technology Facilitators are usually very enthusiastic in adopting technology, and they also have a leadership role in their schools. Within their scope of action, modeling is once again possibly one of the most essential paths to success. At a personal level, Tech Facilitators are usually one (or two, or three) steps ahead of most teachers, and quickly bring into their lives the latest, hippest tools that arrive through their Professional-Personal Learning Network. Awesome!
The tougher part of the job usually comes with defining "best practices" as appropriate for the realities of each school. As Jeff Utech and John Iglar, some of my favorite members of my PLN wonder here:
“Question: Can you be a ’21st Century School’ without a stable internet connection?”Well, as one of my Judo instructors would say:
You don't need to have the fastest and most reliable internet connection to have the best technology integration... but it helps.So as you seek to improve technology integration at your school, go have a conversation with your Tech Director and, if you are lucky to have one, your IT Systems Manager or Network Administrator. You see, with technology, there are "soft" limits and "hard" limits. Bandwidth is a "hard" limit: you pay this much cash, you get this much speed. Not more. Never more.
Think about the tools and habits that you bring into your school from your personal technology needs, and try to find out how much bandwidth they would need if you multiply them by the number of students in your school. If you have 300 students in a 1:1 laptop program, much more so with BYOD, ask your IT guys if your school really has 300 times the bandwidth that you enjoy at home. And then consider that maybe those students are not the only ones that need that connection right. this. moment. How many other people will run straight into the IT office when you get your classroom on that new web 2.0 site you found because their lesson can't happen or the accounting software can't submit important reports to some external service?
What did the IT guys say? Yes? 300 times your bandwidth at home? Awesome! You are lucky, go right ahead! No? What's the proportion? How far back in the thinking process do you need to go?
In most parts of the world, internet connections keep getting better as time goes by. But the key to successful technology integration is satisfied users. Sustainable growth is key, to avoid pushing your infrastructure beyond the point of failure.
If you are in a position of technology leadership, finding out which technologies are truly sustainable for your institution should be one of your highest priorities.
You know, before you model your way into trouble.