1. Vision: “The Why” & Formulating Goals
Your vision is the purpose (the “why”) for implementing mobile learning and it should be one that can be demonstrated in terms of impact on school priorities, and on teaching and learning.
The vision describes the destination, and bring everyone along on the journey. The vision should promote the idea of a school where students and teachers have access to the most effective technology, whenever it is the best way of learning or teaching. The vision should also identify a point in time at which no one talks about technology anymore because it has become routine.
You can involve students, staff and the community in a consideration of everything that education technology could improve (including the canteen) and use this vision to inform procurement, implementation and training over the next few years.*
A key part of the vision is formulating goals that will help the school realise the vision. When formulating goals, it helps to understand what factors make it more likely for teachers to adapt their teaching to tablets:
- Replacing Old Technology: Tablets can solve problems such as long PC boot-up times:
“The decision to adopt tablets was driven by…the school’s support for an up-to-date technology environment” – Wallace High school case study
- Skill Enhancement (Interactivity, Collaboration, and Independent Learning):
“Instant access to technology allows collaboration to take place spontaneously…It fits with students’ lifestyles and abilities” – Wallace High school case study
- Preparing students for working and living in a digital age: Students will eventually have to use mobile technology to enable, for example, collaboration and independent learning.
“Teacher leaders associated such skills with living and working in a digital age, which was cited as the main reason for introducing tablets by 92% of the schools” – From the Stage 3 Research Report
2. Create a Strategy to Deliver the Vision: “The How”
If the vision is your ‘why’, the strategy as your ‘how’ and the plan as your ‘what’. It is important that you do not start with the ‘what’. Your vision should be clear and have a purpose that can be demonstrated to impact on your school priorities and teaching and learning. Most organisations require support to bring these together in, and in doing so, enabling your strategy to be delivered quicker. The strategy is the approach you will take and the governance you will create to manage the project. It’s important you call it a teaching and learning project to ensure everyone is focussed on teaching and learning, rather than technology. You should create a project group and set yourselves key milestones.
3. Deliver the Vision: Have a Roll-Out Plan, “The What”
Delivering the vision involves figuring out when and how the technology will be implemented. This includes:
- Making sure that the plan reflects the week-by-week deliverables needed to deliver your vision (ie, putting dates in diaries for parental engagement sessions, or assessing the performance and capacity assessment of your network).
- Reviewing the plan every three months to rebaseline.
In creating your vision, strategy and plan, consider the following:
- Your curriculum and pedagogical model.
- School development plan.
- Your school’s appetite to risk and change.
- Software applications currently used.
- Types of teaching materials currently used (PDFs, Powerpoints, hard copies).
- Systems architecture (servers, network, wireless, internet) and budget.
4. Ongoing Training and Support Plans for the Vision
The creation of ongoing training and support for the vision allows teachers to discuss goals and how tablets can best be used to meet them.
To take just one example from our research, one school offered training before tablets were introduced, then during the transition, and then again after initial deployment.
- Get advice on what should be in a vision statement.
- Take a look at an actual vision statement: A Vision for Technology by United Learning