Educational technology (ed tech) leaders are crucial in implementing and managing tech planning and administration in educational institutions. Leaders in ed tech are responsible for developing clear outcomes for teachers and education professionals aligned with a clear vision for learning. In programs like the online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Technology Leadership from the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM), students can develop expertise in ed tech planning and administration.
Understand the Vision
There are several important considerations for ed tech leaders regarding tech planning and administration, but understanding the institution’s vision and goals is a top priority.
A new Edutopia article about improving ed tech implementation suggests that leaders should align their efforts with the overall vision and goals of the institution. This alignment involves actively developing strategic plans and ensuring technology planning supports the broader educational objectives. Sharing information early, tailoring the rollout and providing ongoing support for staff are a few ways to ensure smooth tech adoption.
Responsible ed tech leaders will assist with hiring and managing tech staff, establishing and ensuring adherence to procedures and protocol, addressing network and connectivity issues, resolving financial matters, aligning tech with instructional design principles and meeting state and national school tech standards.
Explore Emerging Technologies
Ed tech constantly evolves. Leaders must stay informed about emerging technologies, trends and best practices. This knowledge helps them decide which technologies to adopt and how to integrate them effectively into the educational environment.
The U.S. Office of Educational Technology suggests using assessment and evidence to support the adoption of ed tech in schools. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) notes that leaders making ed tech decisions should prioritize conducting a comprehensive assessment of tech needs. This involves evaluating the existing infrastructure, hardware, software and network capabilities to identify gaps and areas for improvement. It also involves understanding the needs and goals of different stakeholders, such as teachers, students, administrators and IT staff.
Essential Knowledge for Tech Educators
Technology planning and administration encompass various aspects of the strategic management and oversight of tech within an organization.
A recent guide for building effective district tech teams, published by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), discusses a framework of skills that helps ed tech leaders successfully implement tech strategies in schools, including the following:
- Goal alignment: Tech planning should align with the organization’s mission and objectives.
- Needs assessment: Conducting a thorough needs assessment helps identify the organization’s current and future tech requirements.
- Budgeting and resource allocation: Developing a budget is crucial to ensure adequate funding for tech initiatives.
- Develop a tech plan: A tech plan should address areas such as infrastructure development, hardware and software procurement, professional development for staff, digital curriculum integration, data security and privacy policies.
- Collaborate with stakeholders: Engage with teachers, administrators, IT staff, students and parents to understand their perspectives, concerns and needs. Collaborative decision-making fosters buy-in and helps ensure that tech initiatives are relevant, effective and well-supported.
- Budget and resource management: Ed tech leaders should be able to estimate the costs associated with tech initiatives, advocate for appropriate funding and allocate resources effectively.
- Professional development and training: Ongoing professional development and training may include workshops, coaching, online courses and access to resources.
- Data security and privacy: Prioritize data security and privacy. Ed tech leaders should have a deep understanding of relevant regulations and policies and be able to implement appropriate security measures, data governance practices and guidelines to protect student and staff data from unauthorized access or breaches.
- Evaluation and continuous improvement: Regularly assess the effectiveness of tech initiatives and make data-driven decisions for improvement.
Transitioning to Education Technology
Ed tech leaders need to be forward-thinking and anticipate future trends and developments in this field. Internet access is part of the fabric of life in the 21st century and deeply woven into the texture of education. As EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports, connectivity is critical whether students are learning in person, virtual classrooms or hybrid environments.
Graduates of ULM’s online M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership program are ready to implement and maintain technologies and protocols. They are prepared to enter roles that demand knowledge of building and refining such teaching and learning systems. Courses such as Technology Planning and Administration and Instructional Design and Program Development explore many ed tech resource management, planning and budgetary issues.
Learn more about ULM’s online M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership program.