Schools and districts often focus only on the most immediate needs like purchasing the required hardware, vetting the best content, ensuring classrooms have a reliable internet connection when they engage in technology-based learning initiatives. This might result in the failure of edtech initiative at those institutions.
Monitoring progress toward goals and milestones throughout the year is an important requirement for successful edtech implementation. Without a team of peer mentors who meet regularly to review implementation and adjust support, even the strongest initial implementation has a high likelihood of failure. With proper monitoring, teachers and administrators can adapt to roadblocks accordingly, addressing small problems before they evolve into large issues that could threaten the entire implementation. Below are a few examples of the importance of ongoing monitoring of school or district goals:
New teachers unfamiliar with the program have come on board
Principals may find that teachers’ level of program expertise becomes uneven with the inevitable staffing changes that occur throughout the school year. These gaps in training can be identified by effective monitoring of program implementation, enabling the principal to support teachers before their unfamiliarity with the program has an adverse impact on implementation success and student outcomes.
Student population has changed
Administrators may find that the demographics within their district shift significantly in multi-year implementations. This results in dramatically different instructional needs from year to year. High student mobility rates can also affect the instructional needs of each classroom within a school district throughout the year. These shifts in both the cases can result in a dynamic and complex instructional challenge. Districts can adapt how a program is implemented by closely monitoring the skill profiles and instructional needs of the student population like adjusting instructional intensity, providing specialized instructional skills, and/or supplementing the instructional resources available.