6 key steps for implementing new edtech

Naimish Gohil

Naimish Gohil is a former assistant headteacher turned edtech entrepreneur. He is CEO and founder of Satchel whose flagship software, Show My Homework, makes teachers’ lives easier by reclaiming their teaching time so they can spend more time in the classroom. Naimish is a firm believer in raising the standard of teaching and learning across the globe and the impact technology can have in this.

Follow @Team_Satchel

Website: www.teamsatchel.com/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Flickr // Evolution Labs. Image credit: Flickr // Evolution Labs.

You don’t deserve a medal for implementing new technology in school, but it can sure feel like you do at times. Buying into contracts with third-party technology suppliers is daunting; I’ve had to do it in my past, and there’s lots of pressure to make the right decision. As the edtech market grows more saturated, more and more firms will claim to offer the world. But with many of these companies not having been around for long, how can you be sure the technology you chose is right for your school?

Having been through many frustrations with software providers back when was a school teacher, as well as time spent with schools developing robust IT protocols, I know a thing or two about what to consider before choosing new technology. Here, I’ve outlined the key steps to guide you during each step of the purchasing journey:

Step 1 – Discuss a use case

Think about the benefits and implications the new software will have on your school. Will the product replace an existing solution, or be added on to something already in place? Keep your goal for technology at the front of your mind at all times, and determine how you’re going to measure its success. On the flipside, have a contingency plan ready. Determine in advance any problematic scenarios that could occur during the implementation, and establish measures to help prevent or mitigate them.

Step 2 – The decision to purchase

Before you hit the button to purchase the software, ensure that all relevant decision-makers within the school are aware of the case for the technology, the KPIs it must hit, as well as its cost. Weigh up competitor pricing structures, and if the supplier you choose is cheaper, be sure to ask yourself “why”? In many cases, free options mask expensive support, setup and/or maintenance fees, or provide very basic software that can’t cater to nuanced challenges of schools. After the purchase, a good vendor will let you lean on them for help around deployment, and in most cases even implement the technology on your behalf.

Step 3 – Training users

Software training is paramount to the success of technology deployments in schools. Ideally you want training to be provided by the software providers, as they’re the experts. However, it is the school body’s responsibility to make sure staff are trained and have technical support when required. When it comes to training sessions for users, they must be engaging, practical and should clearly outline the main benefits of the product, how it’s going to appeal to them and why it will make their lives easier. Set tick-box targets and goals for users around hands-on sessions, to validate a baseline user operating standard across your school.

Step 4 – Roll out of the technology

The roll-out of software across your school should happen shortly after training to maintain momentum and minimise users’ erosion of knowledge. Set a firm date and stick to it.

The whole process should happen simultaneously, preferably with all of the required users - consistency is key here. When the new technology is implemented, older conflicting tools should be disregarded.

Step 5 – On-going maintenance

Of course, ongoing maintenance is necessary. As reliable as software is, there are going to be reasons support people need to be contacted. Because of this, make sure that users receive the contact details of support staff, whether they be the technology vendor or someone from your internal IT department. It is also worth notifying them of contact and estimated response times. More broadly, if support is maintained internally, it is up to this team to ensure the the software is kept up-to-date along product knowledge too.

Step 6 – Time to reflect

Once you are up-and-running, look back at your KPIs and see if you achieved what you wanted. If you didn’t, ask yourself “why”? Is the product still the best solution for your school, or is there a newer product more suited to your school and its needs? The timespan of your plan will depend on your school’s circumstances and the relative complexity of the technology that’s being implemented. However, moving forward with haste instills confidence in your user base, and ensures that staff don’t forget how to use the product before they’ve had a chance to.

Remember - having a firm plan in place, answering questions before they arise, and sticking to the dates you’ve set out can help a school implement new technology with success.

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"