As the school year winds down, you might be asking yourself, “What can I do now to be more organized next year?” A challenge for any administrator is creating effective systems for organizing tech use. What platforms are teachers using? Do they like them? Are they effective and worth the $$$? At Albert, our School Success team works with thousands of educators across the country, and the team has learned a lot about what the most organized administrators do to keep track of tech across their schools.
If you’re feeling like you could freshen up how you manage your tech, check out these tips from some of our favorite admin.
1. Consider edtech part of the curriculum.
- As an admin, be aware of the edtech platforms teachers are building into their lessons and why they’re using them. What pain point is the platform solving?
- Discuss implementation strategies like you would with any other educational resource.
- Putting tech at the forefront of the conversation means it won’t be something “extra” to keep track of.
2. Go through demos before releasing a product to your staff.
- Look for what might be challenging for teachers and address those issues upfront.
- Look for features you want to highlight, so your staff understands why you want them to use a particular product.
3. Streamline passwords and usernames.
- Keep passwords in a password manager or spreadsheet.
- Make it really easy for your staff to keep track of logins for different platforms, especially if people are sharing passwords.
4. Keep copies of personal “user manuals.”
- Record the steps required for engaging with particular platforms.
- Months later, you can refer back to it, rather than spend hours figuring out how to do something you already did.
5. Identify tech-savvy teachers and students to use as a resource.
- Assign point-people who can help other teachers and staff with different platforms.
- Offer a community service credit to students who are willing to teach other students or teachers how to navigate tech.
6. Delegate progress monitoring.
- Rather than spend hours printing out excel spreadsheets, give login access to an office manager.
- Create a weekly/ monthly task for that person to print out data from every platform.
- Quickly review hard copies and highlight important information to go over with teachers during check-ins.
7. Make feedback loops super clear.
- After you’ve purchased a platform and teachers have been trained, make it clear when and how teachers will tell you how it’s going.
- Monthly or quarterly campus-wide check-ins are great for ensuring that the products you’re paying for are a) being used b) working for teachers and students.
- A Google-form works really well for this. Just send out the survey to gauge usage/ satisfaction. Then, you can easily track answers month over month or quarter over quarter.
- This process will help you flag when an edtech product is not a good use of funds.
8. Understand that teachers will use tech differently.
- Some are quick to adopt new platforms, some are more hesitant.
- Ask teachers about their comfort level and how you can support them before enforcing a new platform across the board.
9. Bookmark frequently used pages.
- This one sounds obvious but the most organized admin have bookmarks (and folders within bookmarks) to make frequently used sites easily accessible.
- Make folders for different departments/ teachers so you can easily access platforms used across different disciplines during check-ins.
10. Make relationships with success managers!
- Most edtech companies have school success managers who want to help you!
- Get to know them (they’re usually pretty nice), so they can answer questions for you and help you stay organized ?.