As a school administrator, having a well planned and executed technology vision for your school is mandatory. The hard part is balancing the needs and requirements of teachers, students, curriculum and even parents. Not to mention the IT requirements and funding for aging devices like servers and laptops.
Did I even mention security and policies? Wow, that's a lot to handle.
What will happen to your students if this isn't handled correctly? Imagine your students going to the next level, high school or college, or even starting their careers, and not being prepared.
What is a quality education if it doesn't prepare you for the challenges and emerging technologies you will need to master to be successful. How can you as an Administrator plan for something that hasn't happened yet?
This wasn't covered in college!
I went to visit my friend, Rick Kempton, in the hospital several years back. He had his knees replaced, both of them at the same time, and told me how the doctor made him stand up just 12 hours after his surgery. I almost lost my lunch!
The pain he experienced did not match the pain he received trying to get his large, K-8 Private School, Friends Christian Schools in Yorba Linda, CA, into the 21st Century with technology. Not even his experience as an Executive Board Member for ACSI could provide the direction he needed to get his tech plan on track.
After consulting with his Admin Team, and after hearing about our planning model, he chose a different provider. I cried (not really). His pain was just starting.
The provider he chose focused on "stuff", software, hardware and wiring. Although that is 1 of the 5 areas we address in our planning model, their choice put them in the same position they started with. Two years later Rick called me. He was ready. He needed the pain to go away and I had the pain reliever!
Our plan was comprehensive and covered a 4-year timeline that went beyond "stuff". Get it? BEYOND Technology!! We developed a custom and balanced plan that focused on their teachers' professional development, students' skill acquisition plus curriculum and lesson plan creation.
We even provided upgraded hardware, IT support and qualified instructional design support. All of this was managed by a BTE Project manager who also provided marketing support. We were more than a vendor, we were a partner.
The plan was flawless and the school went to the next level with technology and more. Enrollments grew and all stakeholders were very happy.
The program was such a success that when Rick moved to Annapolis Christian School in Maryland, he asked us to develop a model for his new school. We still work there, very successfully, to this day.
The great news is that Rick now knows what a quality, pain-free, technology plan is comprised of and he also grew an extra inch from his knee replacement. What a great trade off!
The clear challenge in today’s K-12 educational landscape is the lack of a clear and simple technology integration planning and implementation framework that coordinates teachers, students, administrators, IT and all stakeholders of a school to understand and prioritize the integration of technology into the entire school culture.
“When we originally met with BTE, I had reservations if his company could pull off what they proposed. Not only did BTE do everything they said but they exceeded my expectations in every way.”
This process should not be a simple hardware fix or software solution. This process should include several steps that evaluate teachers, students, curriculum, policy and the school’s infrastructure to improve educational technology efficiency to “teach students better, faster”.
“BTE has brought a new dimension to education at Southcrest. Teachers and students are integrating technology in whole new ways. Partnering with BTE is a great choice.”
At BEYOND Technology Education, we believe that preparing students for their future is as important as preparing them for their present. Technology is providing opportunities for schools that not only benefit learning today but also provides the tools for students to be competitive into the future.
Better learners today, better earners tomorrow. That is why we developed the SWIMGrid technology integration framework.
Well, yes! After creating hundreds of tech plans over several years, with many different scenarios, we have learned what the key areas to focus on are. Our SWIMGrid Technology Planning Model shortens the learning curve by developing a 4-year implementation schedule and plan which covers 5 key areas:
SWIMGrid (School-Wide Integration Model) is the organizational method and planning tool BEYOND Technology Education uses to help schools create a 4-year technology integration solution. The SWIMGrid includes 5 planning areas:
1. TEACHERS – We assess, train and support teachers through meaningful professional development, coaching and modeling so they can learn best practices on technology use for their grade level or subject.
2. STUDENTS – We evaluate and equip students with the technology and problem solving skills needed to be better students today and technologically savvy global citizens tomorrow through quality technology curriculum and hands-on, project-based learning opportunities, not games.
3. CURRICULUM – We address classroom lesson plans and integrate relevant technology projects that also use the most current productivity tools and Web 2.0 methods to improve classroom instruction.
4. INFRASTRUCTURE - We evaluate a school's technology infrastructure and make the necessary additions as the school goes from a simple computer lab environment, to a mobile lab environment to an efficient one-to-one device environment for all or select grade levels.
5. PROJECT MANAGEMENT – We help in developing and implementing the plan which includes periodic assessment of goals and makes sure the entire project stays on task and market the success stories to the community to improve exposure and increase student enrollment.
“Knowing the 5 key technology planning issues and having our planning done early made the difference between success and failure.”
This model has been well received by schools across the country and South America and has even beat out Apple Education in their own backyard, San Jose, CA.
The process is very simple.
First, watch the On-Demand Webinar "Your K-12 Technology Plan Needs Help" above.
Second, select the "Free School Analysis" button and fill out the questionnaire. That's it!
We will be in contact to set up your free school analysis, set up a web-meeting or school visit, and present a solution that will take your school to the next level.
Be ready to grow an inch!
"The quality of our future depends on the quality of questions we ask and answer today. So be bold and realize that we are creating the future right now."