This isn’t just about choosing technologies either. It’s about the change management programme you need to map out in order to transform your school. We’ve drawn up a list of seven issues you might want to consider…
Are you starting a completely new school or programme from scratch, or redesigning an existing programme – either in full, or in parts? Work out the pros and cons for each approach, so you can set the scope of your programme from the outset.
Another early decision is whether you want to ‘go it yourself’, or bring experts in. These could either be throughout the process, or at key moments. If no-one in your school has experience of running a change management programme, how about hiring someone on a short- to medium- term contract?
Decide how you want the change to interactive learning to happen. As a ‘big bang’ moment? Or rolled out through a phased approach – for example in certain areas, or for certain age groups? Would it be best to run it as a pilot first? Again, working out the pros and cons for each method against your school’s specific circumstances will help you decide.
You need to get everyone involved and on-board from an early stage. This should include informing parents and students of your intentions. If people have doubts and questions, listen and answer them. It might be a good idea to present your plans as “shared for discussion”, rather as a fait accompli. Also try anticipating concerns, and answering them as part of your announcement. For example, teachers might be concerned they’re being “replaced” by technology, parents might be concerned they will have to pay for equipment, and so on.
Then, work out who needs to be on your planning team, and who the key stakeholders are that need to be either informed and/or involved at key points in the planning. Map all this out, and stick to it.
You need to draw up a strategy, for example month-by-month, with key benchmarks along the way. Factor in things such as board approval meetings, funding deadlines, student and teacher testing sessions and so on.
Throughout the process you need clear communication channels. These should be two-way: so from the change management team’s side, updates can be given out and requests made. And from everyone else’s side, they can feedback, respond and ask questions. You might want to consider an Intranet-style platform. Make sure someone on the team ‘owns’ the responsibility of communicating.