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An In-Depth Guide for Tech Directors: 5 Steps to Buying K-12 Tech in the USA

Introduction

Today, technology directors for school openly collaborate to initiate technology use in the classroom setting.

Learning has progressively changed over time, with new trends emerging— the rise of tech devices, tools, and solutions that each Tech Director must account for and plan for the generation of digital learning.

This process is overwhelming for even the most seasoned directors, who know an increasing need to keep up with the trends, especially concerning the recent events.

If you’re a tech director for a school that wants to invest in K-12 Technology, make sure to read this article on how you can make the purchasing process go smoothly. Here are the five steps every tech director should take:

5 Steps to Buying K-12 Technology Tools & Devices

1. Match your technology with your district’s documented goals and educational standards.

Many school districts depend on a single person to test the suggestions with little funding and time to complete the e-safety study. This individual would also perform research on established e-commerce sites and search engines on a consumer-style basis.

For tech directors, the analysis on which K-12 Technology tools and devices to purchase should focus on product characteristics that chart their attitudes and mental structures.

The most mission-critical district specifications that are solution-based rather than feature-based should be the primary concern. In the K-12 room, with many customer proof points supporting it, these strategies should have a fantastic record.

Combined with positive technical and personal feedback, consumer reviews help you to identify a technology approach with a proven track record in meeting those needs.

It’s not always about the newest and trendiest solutions.  You want to strictly stick to “2.0” or higher solutions that have already been market-tested and revised – those solutions that support learning in the classroom, enhance instructional best practices and pragmatically impact student achievement.

A second factor to consider is how the technology or solution can support student learning needs across multiple subjects.

Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Virtual reality headsets are seeing significant year-over-year gains in percentage adoption by districts.  These headsets give students the ability to visit ruins in Greece, travel the solar system, or see 3D models come to life. 

Almost every class can benefit from that type of spatial learning, which means the investment in technology will transcend all classrooms and all classes, making it a widely used asset.

2. Make sure your solution has interoperability planning.

Although technology is expanding nationwide in school districts, Tech Directors need to go beyond to ensure students’ welfare through the improvement of interoperability strategies.

Student Privacy Protection

This involves setting up the necessary district or regional level facilities to service separate schools with the same (high) protection level. To protect student privacy, large volumes of programs, applications, and data can be efficiently processed.

Schools who aspire to be evidence of the future and forward-thinking educators expect tech-based solutions to expand exponentially. With the daunting list of digital solutions rising annually, consolidated computing and storage in one environment are vital considerations. 

This interconnected environment offers much greater productivity for districts and significantly decreases the likelihood of downtime, stolen records, forgery, and other negative acts.

3. Manage your implementation, service, & support.

The district has space for emerging innovations that are implemented into the digital ecosystem. The people doing it need to ensure that they have a good view of managing deployment.

The Digital Ecosystem

It incorporates business analysis, best management reports, and adequate staffing and digital tools to complete the environment.

The vision for continuous operation and assistance needs to be introduced to please end-users as the environment is introduced, and the outcome is deemed complete against annual targets.

To ensure seamless implementation and use, Tech Directors should develop, introduce, and provide (often with an instructor or student partners) a continuous range of training as appropriate.

These tech directors already know how the ecosystem works at a high level. At the service level, they need to identify the various talking points for how that solution will benefit the classrooms they are responsible for. 

Technology usage goals eventually become the crux of pragmatic, wide-spread, practical use. This also allows Tech Directors to plan for future challenges or problems to address it with both faculty and students as their sounding board and compass.

4. Communication with educators as purchasing partners.

Tech Directors are thinking about… well… tech.  Educators will be thinking about the utopian end scenario. In consideration of tech being adopted, Tech Directors should be partnered with educators (from the classroom to the boardroom). 

Technology for Educators

Educational professionals have years of insightful knowledge about their districts’ needs and can be beneficial partners in informing purchasing decisions.

If they are seen as the right partners in the solution decisions, they are ten times more likely to support and implement the classroom product and stay on as a perpetuity partner. 

Finding common ground with them should be easy, as you are representing different components that need to overlay against a set of needs, wants, and critical criteria. 

5. Communication with parents and students as purchasing partners

If the tech solution depends on parental and student adoption, they need to be involved.  Also, similar to how you should handle educational professionals, they need to be overly communicated with.

They are the ones who will work with the solutions daily. They are the ones who digest online services and become active digital citizens. They also have to purchase any extra peripheral equipment such as laptops, tablets, and subscriptions.

Communication is the Key

Overall, at any stage, communication is essential. Often, the motivation will come from students for a given technology initiative. On other occasions, it will come from leadership in the classroom.

Everyone in the city can realize how financing technological ventures increases student success, regardless of whether they have kids in kindergarten. Parents’ emails, commercials, and text updates are typical ways of communicating the initiative in buying K-12 tech.

Welcome parents to your school to see technology in motion, and even organize walkthroughs that encourage a broader public to experience first-hand tech-supported learning.

Conclusion Each technology should concentrate on the students and their needs. As a result, Tech Directors should periodically speak to and interview students to get their views on all facets of technology programming.

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