Starting a school year right can lay the foundation for a successful year. Discover what every tech director wishes they had when starting a school...
How To Set New School Year Tech Goals
New Year's resolutions aren’t just for January: in schools they are also for the end of Summer. Here’s how to create your Tech SMART goals for schools.
Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, millions of people dream about what the new year will bring. A new year brings the hope of possibilities and a fresh start, and many of us make New Year’s resolutions and share them with others. We vow to lose weight, to spend more quality time with family, or to volunteer more often. Some resolutions we accomplish and others we don’t. Still, there is joy in dreaming.
Educators are blessed in that they get to make New Year’s resolutions twice a year. Just as January brings hope, fall brings about the exciting start of a new school year. While we may be sad to see our summer fade so quickly, we eagerly look forward to seeing our colleagues and, most importantly, our students once again. So in August, many of us make new school year’s resolutions.
This year, why not make a few of your new school year’s resolutions about integrating technology into your classroom or using technology to enhance your communication with students, parents, and your community? Whether you’re a tech junkie, a novice, or somewhere in between, there’s always room for improvement. Our advice? Make your resolutions IT-SMART: Innovative, Tailored, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Make it INNOVATIVE
Educational technology is ever evolving — new and exciting technologies emerge all the time. So, when making your ed tech goals, make them as innovative as possible. While it makes sense to make a goal about enhancing your use of existing products, try to make one or more goals about trying out new tools. This may be the year that your school starts a new eSports program, or enhances the science curriculum with virtual reality. Maybe this is the year your school or district gets its first branded mobile app. Be adventurous!
Make it TAILORED
Your ed tech goal should be tailored to both your individual goals and the goals of your district. If one of your district’s goals is to increase community engagement, and you oversee communication in your district, then one of your ed tech goals could be to “increase our channels of communication to include web posts, social media, newsletters, text, email, and voice.” With a goal like this, finding a Content Management System that handles all of those channels would be ideal.
Make it SPECIFIC
Make your tech goal as specific as you can. Instead of making a goal to “use technology to communicate with parents,” you could strive to “have my parents sign up for automatic updates from your individual teacher pages.” Rather than saying you will “use technology to get feedback from students,” you could aim to “gather student feedback using your built-in forms feature.”
Make it MEASURABLE
It is much easier to monitor progress towards your resolutions if you make them measurable (think IEP’s). It is more feasible to assess your results if your goal is to “post at least one picture of student engagement on my school’s website,” rather than to “engage students.” Imagine how effortless it would be to gauge your progress on a resolution that states “I will publish one newsletter a month.”
Make it ATTAINABLE
When you set your resolution measurement, make your mark high enough to challenge yourself, but not so high there’s no way you can accomplish it. It may be lofty to say “I will post a news article on our main page every single day of the school year,” but chances are that just won’t happen. Setting out to “change our website photos daily” sure would be nice, but realistically it’s far-fetched. Don’t be too easy on yourself, but give yourself a goal you can be proud of when you achieve it.
Make it RELEVANT
It is important that your goals are meaningful. If you spend most of your technology time answering emails from parents who feel “left out of the loop,” then making a goal to enhance communication would help alleviate some of that pressure. If you’re swamped with a mess of money and receipts from fundraising, then creating an online store could give you some breathing room in your schedule.
Make it TIME-BOUND
Set an end date or a time frame for your resolutions. Having a deadline encourages you to complete your goal. Your long-term resolution could be to “create an extensive online video library on your homepage with videos about our clubs and activities,” with the smaller goal to “highlight two clubs and activities a month by posting an informational video on your school’s homepage.”
Lastly, when marking SMART goals for schools be sure to share them with a trusted colleague — someone who will offer praise when you’re on track and a gentle nudge when you steer off course. Better yet, be accountability partners for each other.
If you do make a SMART new school year’s technology resolution, please let us know! Tweet it out, tag @Edlio, and use the hashtag #EdlioResolutions22.