Friday, January 8, 2016

Use a Technology Roll Call to Prevent Loss

Senario:

Your school has invested money in a large scale technology implementation.  Student all have a device, and in some cases they are allowed to take them home.  Although the school and teachers are excited about using the technology, the actual use of the devices is scattered and inconsistent.  At the end of the first year of the technology implimentation the technology team sets up and event to retrieve all of the technology from the students.  Many of the devices are missing.

Description:

This scenario is common in many technology programs, especially if you plan on having expensive technology go home with students.  The key issue of this scenario comes from the fact that in the early implementation of whole school technology, teachers are not using the technology in a consistent way.  In some cases, as unfortunate as it is, many of the students are not utilizing the technology at all.  This lack of use, places less emphasis on the technology.  Students that accidentally lose the device, are not in a hurry to replace it, and often fear repercussions from letting teachers or the technology team know about the loss.  By the time the school finds out about the loss of technology often several weeks (or months) have passed, making the recovery of the devices much more difficult.

Solution:

Technology Roll Call.   In the early days of a technology program, I recommend strongly having a daily (at least weekly) roll call for the technology.  This means once per day, when attendance is normally taken, the teacher should have the students proclaim their attendance by holding up the device, or having it on their desk.  This ensures that each device is in the building each day.  Any students that do not have their devices present for more than two consecutive days are elevated to speak with the technology director or the school office.  This puts more emphasis on the technology and also allows the technology team to determine any loss within days of it going missing.  In addition the teacher can do a brief inspection for any broken glass, or damaged machines.  These can then be fixed promptly before the situation gets out of hand.  The result of this will be the decreased loss of equipment, and the increased emphasis on the importance of the technology to the students and school staff.