How Schools can Leverage Existing Technology

Although the field of educational technology seems massive and confusing, I believe there are two simple reasons that schools are not leveraging their existing technology:

1. The existing technology is not properly documented specifically for the school (in wikis and online user’s guides and procedure manuals);

Response: the advent of technology in schools was piecemeal and often uncontrolled. When new technologies became available, schools readily adopted them. Unfortunately, an overall documentation system was not established; for example, information was written on paper or post-its that became lost or outdated. I had this experience in one company: they lost essential documentation for a 5-year period of their corporate existence, and they were paying to recreate it. As technology use in school is relatively new, NOW is the time to start documenting your school technology in a wiki.

You can implement the best practices of documentation step-by-step, over time.

2. There is not enough manpower to create the documentation.

Response: this argument may be something of a red herring. Your staff creates content regularly, and lots of it, but stores it all over the place. Creating your school’s “treasure” may be jumbled into people’s existing job descriptions. For example, your secretary may update the staff directory and write the weekly newsletter. These technical writing duties are already occurring, so, you do not need extra staff to carry them out. When you find your technical guru to champion your school as a technology center, he or she can gently remind your staff to add everything to your content repository (wiki).

Once you know where you’re going with technology at your school, you will have the┬áconfidence to change the milieu to one of collaboration on all levels, and phenomenal learning will occur!

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