After nearly two years of virtual education, districts across the country are undergoing a digital transformation. It’s clear technology is a crucial element of a quality education, and stumbling forward without an execution plan is no longer an option.
When schools were forced to operate remotely for the first time in 2020, too many districts were left scrambling. This year, most districts are no longer operating in crisis mode and many IT departments are leading the charge to find digital solutions that will strengthen the education experience for all stakeholders.
The question is, what ed tech tools will best support your district and its stakeholders?
Determining what your stakeholders need
The best way to understand what stakeholders need is to listen and engage. Collecting feedback through research-backed surveys or a listening tour can help you get a better sense of your community’s needs and concerns.
Some districts even build committees representing their stakeholder groups. This gives teachers, principals, parents and families, and district leaders the opportunity to come together with their peers to discuss ideas and opportunities. Each committee may be tasked with identifying the tools they feel would help most, and IT serves as a steward to minimize duplication and maximize execution. Taking a democratic approach also ensures you have broad buy-in from many stakeholders.
Regardless of how you choose to engage with stakeholders, a structured and streamlined process will help you identify and evaluate new tools, and determine which existing tools should be strategically retired.
A genuine interest in stakeholders’ needs will lead to a successful digital plan
There’s a difference between a “point-in-time transformation” and sustainable digital transformation. Sustainable transformation requires planning and an authentic investment. It means being open to new approaches and ideas. And it requires IT leaders and other district administrators to listen to the needs, concerns, and opportunities identified by a broad range of stakeholders.
It’s crucial to understand what concerns your stakeholders have, what they’re scared of, and what they truly need. Requesting feedback and using it to make educated decisions will build trust with your stakeholders, advance your district’s use of beneficial technology, and reveal trends that will guide you through the coming years.