04 Jan

5 to avoid….

Those edtech mistakes you need to try to stamp out…

1. It worked for one, so lets buy thirty…

I've seen this over and over again. One teacher, usually keen and a bit tech savvy, found something that worked very well. Perhaps a new tablet, a specfic laptop or the next new classroom equipment. It worked for them, so we buy a class set, or one for each class. Then there is surprise when issues occur, when there is not as much use from other teachers (or no use) – connectivity issues as the school's creaking wifi struggles.

Always test put purchases in the 'least likely' class, link pilot studies with teachers who are looking for a specific outcome and, if possible use suppliers who will let you lend equipment first! (This worked a treat with our chromebooks).


2. Don't ask around….

Someone, somewhere will have tried that new idea of yours! It is a mistake to try something without asking other schools, other teachers, or even twitter – #ukedchat. Locally there may be companies that others have tried with better services, deals (e.g. A 30 day trial on equipment), nationally there may be common pitfalls that can be avoided!


3. Forget about the teaching…

All too often we are given technology as an answer to a problem that didn't exist. Don't forget it is about the classroom, the children, the teaching! Is there an issue with connecting your schools to others? Do the teachers need to share what's happening in their classroom? Does the technology need replacing? Can the pupils easily access their work? What is it you actually want out of your technology?


4. Lock it down…

Schools, once invested in expensive technologies, can (understandably) be reluctant to let them loose on the whole school. Whilst it makes sense to emphasize how it can be used safely, and how to properly look after such equipment, it is a mistake to put people off of making use any new technology or services. With new online services educate pupils, parents and teachers on e-safety. With equipment build into the budget some loss and demonstrate proper use at every opportunity. Teachers who are confident can be good role models for this, and sharing 'what works' in staff meetings is a must!


5. Ignore the pupils…

The pupils in schools can be involved at every stage of technological investment – from consulting to training on the use of anything new. Consider starting with what they already use at home, if you are considering investing in new technology this is a great way to get ideas. New services can be reviewed by pupils, helping you to decide what might be useful in the classroom. This also applies to parents, who can be involved in similar phases.



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