Creating a Technology Roadmap
|When educators talk technology, you’ll hear online curricula, smart boards, automated testing, and the like. But for charter school operators, “technology” has much broader implications because it is intrinsic not only to the students’ education, but to the entire operation of the school. Choosing, implementing, and managing multiple systems requires a level of technical knowledge that demands the help of experts who can conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and work with you to create a technology roadmap.
A technology roadmap is an action plan for your school’s technology over a given period or periods—a necessity for any well-run school. Technology plans balance your current and projected technology needs and desires against other criteria, such as your school’s mission, budget, and enrollment levels. A technology roadmap is used not only for implementation purposes, but also for funding, fundraising, and marketing.
Roadmaps Give Direction in 4 Key Areas:
Core IT Services provide the basic infrastructure to support both administrative and academic
environments. They include network/internet connectivity, servers, storage, file sharing,
Administrative Servicesprovide access to all pertinent applications required to operate the
school, including, but not limited to, student information system, HR, payroll, ERP, financial
management, fundraising, and transportation.
Collaboration and Distribution Services provide access to media streaming resources,
blogging, instant messaging, discussion groups, email services, podcasting and many others.
Educational Services provide digital workflow tools that help teachers publish, manage, and
share curriculum content, Web 2.0.
The best case for any school would be to have all technology in place before the doors even open. However, most schools are faced with tough decisions and must choose which services are implemented first. In many cases, schools’ budgets do not allow them to meet all of their technology needs at once. Additionally, schools may lack the time necessary for training and implementation of multiple systems or the building structure might require upgrades to allow for new infrastructure.
Work with your technology provider to develop an empirical system based on your criteria to prioritize your school’s educational services needs. Your technology provider will combine these results with the needs assessment, choose the best solution for each item, and create a comprehensive roadmap that will serve as your technology action plan for years to come.