A Connecticut school district transitioned from low-tech to high-tech, and offers tips in which other schools can make the same transition.
Back in 2010, when Mark Benigni began as the superintendent of the Meriden Public School district, the urban New England school district didn’t even have a device program. Skip forward seven years and every student has a device in their hands, all 8,600 pairs of them. This transition didn’t happen overnight, however; it required careful planning. Here is their advice on how to get your public school system into the digital age.
Collect a Team to Provide Tech-Support for Students and Teachers
Hiring a team that is tech-savvy needs to be first on your list. From a tech-savvy assistant superintendent to creating positions whose sole purpose is to deal with technology. In order for less tech-savvy teachers to get on board, you need to provide them with the support they may need.
Get Educators on Board
For your transition into tech to be smooth and met with as little resistance as possible, you need to get your educators and the community on board with your mission. Meriden Public School offered its teachers tutorials for personal development and continues to offer to coach. Some teachers have become experts to which other teachers can turn to for assistance.
Insert Infrastructure and Devices
A strong infrastructure can support initiatives like one-to-one computing and personalized learning. Ensuring that every business has quality Wi-Fi is the first step. After that, they instituted a bring-your-own-device policy. Meriden, an urban district where 71 percent of their students get free or reduced lunches, was placed in further disadvantage because the students did not have a device to bring in. One-to-one to level the playing field.