26 January 2016
1 min read
Identify your aims
Work out what you want to do, why you want to do it, and what impact you expect your project to have on teaching and learning. If your sole aim is to “buy and roll out iPads”, then you really need to take this step first.
Determine who’s going to need this new stuff, how they will use it, and what initial training and ongoing support will be required. You need to understand the full cost, not just the cost of purchase.
Shop around and weigh up options
Take a good, hard look at the available options, and make sure you’re buying the one that will give your school best value for money. Then look at the deals. Are there ways to get a discount, or work together with other schools to increase your buying power? Can you get warranty extensions or software and services thrown in? Look for ways to maximise your bang for buck.
Get hands-on with properly thought-out pilot schemes. Roll things out to a select group of users and see how they get on, then roll that information back into your planning. This is your chance to learn from small mistakes before they become big ones.
Plan your deployment process, then deploy
Work out what needs to happen, stage by stage, and keep an eye on the dependencies – the things that need to be in place before other parts of the process can move on. Get the support infrastructure in place, back up and migrate any data, and plan for a rollback. Think about your timing, too: could your plans disrupt something even more crucial? Once you have your plan, implement it, and stick to it unless there’s a really good reason not to.
Training and feedback
Training is absolutely vital to the success of each and every new project, and even more so in schools, where students and teachers might not always buy into it right away. To help that, develop avenues for feedback: social networks, intranets, forums and wikis can all help users feed back to you, and share tips and info with each other. You’ll find out what’s going right, and be able to fix anything that’s going wrong that bit faster.