How To Create Your Final EdTech Integration Plan to Support Digital Learning for Staff and Students
Congratulations! You and your school district have made it all the way through the journey of creating your EdTech Integration Plan. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of who your district is, what it is needs are, and where you would like to see yourself in the future. Most importantly, you have a very clear answer to the question “What do you want to see when you walk into a classroom?”
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the last three steps in the process of creating an EdTech Integration Plan.
- Making recommendations by creating an Action Plan
- Sharing your plan with administration
- Creating and presenting the final EdTech Integration Plan
Each of these steps should be completed with not just one, but with your entire planning group to make sure that all research you have done up to this point is included in the final document and that every part of your district is represented and accounted for.
Let us look at the first step: Creating a Recommendations List.
Putting Your EdTech Integration Puzzle Together
Throughout the process of creating an EdTech Integration Plan, a school district goes through several steps that we have covered in previous blog posts:
- Create a District Snapshot
- Define Your Endgame
- Formulate an Essential Question
- Create a Staff Needs Assessment
- Identify Staff Member Needs Based on Title and Position
- Build a Professional Learning Roadmap
- Create an EdTech Menu
- Develop Standards-Based Lesson Plans
- Incentivizing Professional Development
- Develop Recommendations
- Share Your Plan with Administrators
- Create and Approve your Final EdTech Integration Plan
What Goals are you Trying to Meet with your Recommendations?
It is important to always remember that your EdTech Integration Plan is the “answer” to your district’s Strategic Plan. It is the document that supports the question “How do we meet the goals of our district in the classroom?” For that reason, each of the recommendations made by the committee must be aligned with the Strategic Plan.
What are you Aligning your Recommendations To?
In addition to meeting the needs your district Strategic Plan, your recommendations must also be aligned to agree upon standards. In the case of your EdTech Integration Plan, you might use the ISTE Standards as a guide and roadmap to ensure that you are meeting the needs of both students and (all) staff members in your district.
Who is Supported by your Recommendations?
When creating your recommendations list, it is important to include all stake holders in the plan. As we have discussed throughout the planning process, an EdTech Integration Plan is not just about supporting students and not just to support your teachers, but it is an essential roadmap that will help meet the needs of administrators, office workers, support staff, teachers, students, and your community.
How will Professional Development be Presented?
One of the most important parts of your recommendation list is an agreeable format for how professional development, and professional learning should be both created and implemented. In a previous blog post, we discussed how to lay out a roadmap of professional learning when working with your staff that included 1:1 Learning, Small Group Learning, Medium Group Learning, Large Group Learning, and Virtual Learning.
When will Professional Development be Presented?
Creating meaningful professional development is not only essential to teacher development but also to developing critical digital learning skills for our students. But when should it be done? When creating your recommendations for professional development, it is important to lay out a full year calendar that sets up time for both large and individualized professional development opportunities that flow directly in and out of each other so that there is a clear understanding of why teachers are being asked to do what they want to do every time they are together.
How will Digital Learning Skills be incorporated within the Curriculum?
Months of planning, hours of discussion, and hundreds of amazing applications are wonderful but they do not hold any water in the classroom unless they are properly used to enhance what the curriculum demands of it. When creating your final recommendations of what digital learning should look like in your district, it is vital that it all supports curricular activities and that lesson plans are not only standards aligned for instructional technology, but also for individual curricular goals.
What does an EdTech Integration Recommendation Template Look Like?
Below is a sample template of what your recommendations might look like. Each section is broken down to help your group get your thoughts organized and ready for the next step of sharing and discussing with your administration team.
Sharing Recommendations with Administrators
The penultimate step in the EdTech Integration Plan process is sharing your plan with your administration. For many administrators, the presentation of the contents of your EdTech Integration Plan step should be a surprise because they would be members of your planning committee. However, this step requires you and your committee to prepare your presentation and essentially “sell” the concepts and data that has been collected over the course of the last few months.
As you prepare to present your findings to district administration, remember the following things:
- Make sure your plan is supported by standards and is achievable
- Include Curriculum, Technology, and District Initiatives throughout the entire document
- Make sure you can defend your recommendations by backing it up with research
- Staff Survey / Roadmap / Standards / etc.
One of the things that your group should be prepared for when it comes to your presentations to administration is the inclusion of new ideas to your recommendations. For example, you might recommend to the group that you have the opportunity to present (for example) 3-4 times during a semester at a large group faculty meeting where in reality, principals might not have that much time to provide due to other items on the schedule that needs time and attention.
Creating and Presenting your Final EdTech Integration Plan
Once you have made your recommendations and presented them to your building and district administration, it is time to finalize the process by creating your final and district-approved EdTech Integration Plan.
Your final EdTech Integration Plan should include:
- A brief one-sheet that can be read quickly
- A brief history of why the document was created
- A recap of the Strategic Plan, Curricular Goals, and Tech Plan and description of how each drives the creation of this document
- A roadmap of how the plan was formulated with links to research
- A detailed and comprehensive document that includes links to any and all important documents, websites, and resources
- A comprehensive calendar roadmap both micro and macro
- A list of deliverables and goal markers
- A plan for professional development
- Recommendations for success
How to Present Your Plan
To help keep things organized and able for everyone to read and understand, I recommend that your EdTech Integration Plan come in two formats, a single page “one-sheet” and the full, multi-page document.
Your EdTech “One-Sheet”
Your EdTech “One-Sheet” is an outline of your full EdTech Integration Plan. Essentially, your One-Sheet can be thought of as a single page document that links out to each of the items that is presented in your full plan. (The difference being that your full plan has all of the details that have been agreed upon throughout the year).
The reason for creating a One-Sheet is to make what might be a 20+ page document easy to understand and read.
The Full EdTech Integration Plan
Your final EdTech Integration Plan is your full, multi-page document that includes every detail about how you want to see digital learning presented in your district. In addition to the summary of your district, your committee’s findings about how your district sees itself and wishes to have professional development developed, it also includes a list of deliverables from which you will be sharing with your district including a number of key action items for actually putting your plan into place.
For the last 10 years, I have had the opportunity to share the journey of the EdTech Integration Plan creation process with many school districts. I have had the opportunity to present this at many conferences over the years and I have even had the opportunity to work closely with school districts as they took the journey themselves.
As it has been mentioned before in our blog post series, every school district creates a Strategic Plan that declares to the district and community what it believes in and where it would like to see itself in the future. The answer to this document is the EdTech Integration Plan. Only by having this document and plan in mind that discusses exactly what learning should look like in the classrooms can you then create a meaningful Instructional Coaching Department that supports the integration of digital learning skills both in the classroom and in the community.
If you have any thoughts about this series or would like to discuss how to bring an EdTech Integration Plan or Instructional Coaching program into your school district, I would love to hear from you and work with you.
For more information, please visit www.AskTheTechCoach.com.