Instead of experiencing a subtle shift into implementing new technology at your school, COVID-19 forced you to adapt. With education, there was no easing into things—you pivoted immediately, forced through an intense period of trial and error.
From Zoom calls to supporting your students’ mental health, you use technology every minute of the day. Now that things have normalized, expectations have changed and the tools you used during the pandemic are here to stay. In fact, new technologies are evolving every day.
To take advantage of the constant changes and updates, your school should have a clear technology plan.
What Is a Technology Plan?
A technology plan is a document that outlines the goals and objectives of your school’s digital roadmap. It should include strategies to make sure your school is using efficient and effective technologies, as well as ways to measure progress.
Just like a lesson plan gives you the resources and background you need to teach, a technology plan provides the same for your school’s tech use. It should be updated regularly to ensure you are taking full advantage of current and future technologies.
Why Your School Needs a Technology Plan—The Benefits
Whether it’s a pandemic, a natural disaster, or changes in funding, there’s no end to the challenges your institution may face. And while you may be a school, you must operate like a business.
To stay competitive and up-to-date, you need a technology plan. Having a plan can help you:
- Streamline your operations
- Improve communication
- Provide better services to students and staff
- Save money on technology costs
- Maintain compliance with regulations
- Prevent outages due to system failures
Each of these results has two main benefits: making your job easier and providing a better experience for your students. Who wouldn’t want that? Technology can be a sore spot for the education sector; it can take a long time to get everyone on board and implement the changes.
But with a strong plan, you can easily identify the technology that will improve everyone’s experience and have a clear way to implement them.
The 5 Essential Components of a Technology Plan
Here are the five parts of a technology plan that every school should have:
1. Outline Goals and Objectives
You won’t know where to start if you’re not sure where you’re going! You know your school best—do you need better communication with parents, or to digitize workflows? Make sure you document these goals and objectives so everyone is on the same page.
Talk with teachers, administrators, students, and parents to get an idea of what improvements can be made. Once you have goals in place, it’s time to figure out how to make them happen.
2. Assess Your Current Technology and Resources
Once you’ve identified your goals, take stock of what you already have. This will help you figure out where you need to invest in technology and resources. Look at the hardware, software, and networks already in place.
You should also assess your staff’s experience and understanding with regard to technology; do they need more training, or could you implement new technology with just a little onboarding?
3. Conduct Research
Once you’ve identified your goals and assessed your current technology, research potential solutions. Start by looking at the technology that other schools are using—you can find case studies and reviews online.
Then, evaluate each option for cost-effectiveness, ease of use, scalability, security, and any other factors that are important to your school.
4. Create a Budget and Get Funding
Technology is an investment, so you need to create a budget and determine how you will fund the technology plan. There are many funding options available—from grants to private donations—so make sure you explore them all.
Once you have decided on a budget and secured funding, it’s time to implement your plan. Make sure everyone is aware of the timeline and any deadlines.
5. Implement the Plan
Upon implementation, determine who will be in charge of the project and who will be responsible for each step. You may need to hire consultants, IT professionals, or other experts to help you manage the process.
While help may be an extra cost, setting up your technology correctly and securely is crucial for FERPA compliance.
Additionally, be sure to establish a system to track progress and document successes. Through documentation, you can easily measure how effective your technology plan is and make necessary adjustments.
Do You Need Outside Help for Your Technology Plan? Partner with an MSP!
When you joined the education field, you probably had no intentions of being a technology expert! Instead of spending your time and resources trying to create a technology plan, working with an MSP can help you save time, resources, and stress.
You can express your tech challenges and have immediate answers. Not only can MSPs help you create a plan, but they also provide ongoing support and maintenance as needed.
Save yourself from months of research and implementation—focus on your students, and let an MSP handle the rest of your technology needs and planning.
Over 20 Years of Education Industry Expertise at ANC Group
The education sector has a unique set of challenges that the average MSP can’t handle. Our team at ANC Group has decades of experience working with institutions like yours. We understand the technology needs of schools and can provide you with a customized plan that meets your goals and budget.
Schedule a call with us today and start seeing the results of better technology in your educational institution.