Table of Contents
The 10 Zens of tech planning
Your principal has drafted you to create a school-based technology
plan. Now what? Try these tech-planning tips:
1 Establish a committee with stakeholders
of varying interests. Make sure to
include a special-education teacher, an
ELL teacher, a math teacher, a science
teacher, and an administrator, as well as
teachers of other subjects and interests.
2 Conduct a hardware and instructional-
needs inventory. The hardware
inventory catalogs equipment age,
functionality, and condition. The instructional-
needs inventory will determine
the instructional focus of the computer
3 Develop a long-term plan. Ask your
committee: “In five years, what
three technological milestones do we
wish to achieve?”
4 Develop a short-term goal. Ask your
committee: “In five months, what one
goal do we wish to accomplish?”
5 Develop activities that will enable
you to achieve the short-term goal.
Create a mini timeline of when these
activities must be carried out.
6 Grants. These include funds available
from local politicians, private
foundations, donations, and the public.
7 Repair and repurpose technology.
Older computers can often be
nursed back to health by being reimaged.
If a machine is beyond repair, use
it for spare parts.
8 Be wary of purchasing the newest
tech toy. Brand-new products can
have hardware problems and a limited
number of applications and can involve
prohibitive costs. Consider waiting for
the second version and beyond before
investing in what will then be tried and
9 Research software solutions. The
best way to determine the effectiveness
of a program is to test the software,
so request trial versions, demos,
and white papers documenting products’
10 Avoid drive-by PD. All too often,
schools will conduct just one session
of professional development. This is a
recipe for failure, as several sessions are
needed to see a cohesive improvement.
Additionally, follow-up workshops are
critical. It is also important to offer a menu
of workshops, as the needs of adults
learning to use technology vary greatly.
—Jacob Gutnicki writes for the
Innovative Educator blog (http://the innovativeeducator.
blogspot.com) and serves
as a Children First Network director in the
areas of accountability, data, grants, and
IT supporting New York City schools.