Special teams can often determine the outcome of a football game. At their best, special teams ensure superior field position and have the ability to change the score quickly. A good special teams unit requires several players who are specialized yet able to work together. In edtech, we call this the implementation process.
Through my role on the implementations team at Lea(R)n, I work with schools, districts and networks of schools who have made the commitment to implement better processes for organizing, streamlining, and analyzing their edtech products.
Edtech management and organization is something that speaks to me personally. Before joining Lea(R)n, I spent 10 years in North Carolina classrooms, first as a middle school ELA teacher and then as a technology teacher and director. I know the incredible successes that come with edtech deployments as well as the barriers to a complete understanding of who is using your products and how well they are working in your classrooms.
If you’ve made the commitment to prioritizing edtech efficiencies in 2017, now is the time to get started. Typically this involves a redirection of energies and the introduction of new concepts around edtech organization and management. You won’t have to do this alone. Part of my role at Lea(R)n is to help get you started with our 8-week implementation plan, which is designed to ensure that our work is transparent and aligned with your goals.
We kick off our partnership with a fully supported engagement plan and together we will guide you and your team through:
- Setup and configuration of your LearnPlatform
- A review of your edtech management and monitoring processes
- IMPACT Analysis and Trials training so that you can begin to measure edtech product use, academic impact, cost effectiveness and teacher insights
- A discussion of your vendor engagement process
Just like any good instructional model, we will deep dive into a different topic each week during a scheduled call. Along the way, we will develop a strategic partnership that gives me insight into your priorities. During our calls, I will also have the opportunity to address any concerns you have so that we can continue moving forward in our implementation process. We will bring in other members of our team as needed: Technical support, data analysts, and skilled communications experts are all on standby and ready to be called in at any time.
If you’re wondering how it all works in practice, you’re not alone! We tend to hear similar questions at the start of an implementation process. Here are a few of the most common ones, and how we answer them:
How much time will implementation take (e.g., How much more work will this be for my team)? As you know, there is no such thing as downtime in a school or district office. Often, as an administrator, you’re playing multiple roles in your organization while also managing your staff’s needs. In other words, your plate is more than full. With so many ongoing projects, products in use, and people in play, you’ve got a veritable buffet of work waiting for you every day.
We will break down the different components of your LearnPlatform with a focus on your goals, priorities and timelines. The emphasis on regular communication keeps everyone focused and motivated. Along the way, we will build your platform together, and provide the support you need as a strategic partner.
What data do I need, and what should I do with it? Even for established researchers, the idea of compiling datasets can be daunting. I work with our customers to identify different types of data and a clear plan for an IMPACT Analysis. It all starts with communication. We take the time to listen to our customers before diving into data - sometimes clients need analyses in time for budget season or by the end of a product pilot. These are just some of the different scenarios that play out in districts every day, and we can adjust our implementation plan accordingly.
Will my teachers be inconvenienced? This is perhaps the concern that resonates most deeply with me, because I know how much is asked of educators every day. Your LearnPlatform is designed to engage educators with directed feedback requests that take only minutes to complete. If you want to ask your entire district for feedback on a commonly used product, you can do that with minimal disruption to their schedule. If you’d like to request feedback only from teachers at a certain grade level, you can do that, too.
It’s also important that educators feel comfortable using their LearnPlatform, so we provide specialized messaging paired with a customized account that uses your approved colors and logos. A single sign-on configuration utilizing district credentials alleviates the need for an additional username and password to remember. All of this is designed by, with and for educators.
Sometimes, our partners want a little more support, and for that we offer tailored onsite or virtual professional development programs. We can do training via half-day webinars or a complete LearnCertified program that meets your needs.
As you get ready to take a serious look at your organization’s edtech, consider the advantages of having LearnPlatform’s implementation team by your side. Just like the great Vince Lombardi, we know that “the achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” He knew football, and we know edtech, but we all know the value of collaboration.