How Technology is Changing the Way School Districts Do Business
– July 1, 2016
The next generation of families are different than any seen before. Their children weren't raised playing with toys – they were raised playing with tablets and smart phones. It's estimated that 70% of parents let their children use either a smart phone or a tablet on a regular basis. These children's entire lives are documented by social media – they're aware of it and they know how to use it. This new generation of parents are different as well, and they pose different challenges to the ISD education system. Gone are the days of once-a-term parent-teacher conferences. Todays parents and kids have come to expect connectivity on an unprecedented level. They expect to receive real-time updates on their children, be able to register them for classes and courses online, and be able to make payments whenever it's convenient using their computers and smart phones.
If your district is unable to adjust, you risk being left behind.
The Importance of Adjusting to New Generations
Of course, being left behind doesn't just leave your educators in a lurch – it ultimately hurts the children, who have to suffer the inevitable consequences. New methods of teaching are constantly being developed and analyzed, and you understandably want all of your educators on the cutting edge. The same is true with the technology that brings education to life. The school environment changes quickly, and educators need to be prepared to deal with those changes. If you're not dynamic, if you're not adjusting to new technology and trends, you and the kids you teach will be left behind. Parents have more choices available now than ever before for schools. If they don't like what you're doing, they'll go somewhere else – which will ultimately cause the demise of your program.
So what can you do to prevent this?
District-wide Implementation: Tips and Preparation
The first thing you need to be prepared for is the natural struggle that comes with change. If you're aiming for district-wide implementation of a new teaching standard or new software program, expect some people to resist simply because it's different. You'll find change comes easiest if you start on a small scale and expand. Implement your new technology in a small scale operation first – don't try to do the whole district in one step. Rather, focus on one particular after-school program or extracurricular activity. Then, when you expand, you'll already have a team of believers behind you (and ideas on how to improve the process as you roll it out to the rest of your district).
Next, ensure that everyone knows how to use the new technology. One of the benefits of starting small is that you'll have a tiny community of experienced people available to help. Despite this, you'll still need to provide training to the rest of the district.
Finally, expect transferring data to cause a few headaches. That's to be expected, and don't let it get you down. You have resources to make it as easy as possible.
Why It All Matters
The number-one priority of any ISD education system is providing a safe and secure environment for children to grow and learn. Software such as Eleyo makes that possible. You can track attendance in real-time – both educators and parents will know who is supposed to be where and when.
If there was a new technique that helped your teachers get through to kids better, you'd be rushing to learn more about it. Treat technology the same way – with an open mind – and you can guarantee a positive and productive learning environment for those you teach and work with.