One-to-one rollouts are game-changing projects. With proper planning, they can be less daunting. Nail this checklist, and the hard work is half done.
1. Establish a shared vision with community stakeholders
You need teachers, IT, administrators, curriculum supervisors, special education teams, students, parents, and community business leaders behind a shared vision of what’s possible. Produce a shared statement of the goal, the learning objectives, and how you’re going to measure success.
- Having a community-wide Vision Day to talk about learning in the Digital Age
- Holding parent meetings and community forums
- Surveying community business leaders to find out what skills they’re looking for in graduates
2. Define the learning model
Students don’t come to school today because that’s where information is housed. They can get information wherever they are. The modern school is about giving students skills.
Define your learning model to reflect the shift. Think about experiential learning, empowering students, and embracing failure as essential to learning.
3. Choose devices that support your learning goals
This is about students, so consider how exactly they will be using the devices.
- Will students need something truly mobile for take-home assignments?
- Do they need devices optimized for touch?
- Will the software they need require Java or Flash?
- What applications are available for each operating system, and how much do they cost?
- Where will the devices store content — on the device or in the cloud?
- If assignments will need an Internet connection, do students have enough bandwidth at home?
- Can you accommodate students with special needs?
4. Listen to the students
Make sure students have a voice in every step of the process, from setting vision to deployment and ongoing support. When they feel listened to, they will be more engaged in the learning.
5. Create a common language
When IT, teachers, and administrators have a common language, communication is more effective.
6. Create a digital content strategy
The new education paradigm has students as producers, not consumers. That means understanding what students are going to produce and what that will involve.
7. Build a phased deployment program
Start with a pilot program involving:
- Instructional technologists
- IT administrators
- Key stakeholders
Use the program to develop your plan and milestones for the remainder of the project.
Wherever you roll out the program, establish support centers for help with technical problems, functionality support (how to use the system and software), how to perform successful searches, how to cite sources in the digital world, and more.
8. Invest in professional development
Put a strong professional learning program in place that supports your vision and learning objectives before giving technology to students. Let teachers know they’re encouraged to take risks and experiment with using new learning strategies and technologies.
9. Get your infrastructure and policies in order
Before rollout, make sure your network, security, and storage can handle the increased demand and meet compliance requirements. Storage in particular will need to be scalable. And make sure you have the right firewall and security measures to accommodate the way the devices will be used.
Finally, make sure your Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) are up to date. Mobile rollouts involve security issues, especially when cloud applications are used.
Need advice on new IT projects? Want tips for speeding up your network? Call us at (610) 640-4223 for IT advice.