Connecting Silos to Enhance Your District’s Tech Initiatives

As discussed in our previous blog post, ongoing communication and collaboration across “silos” (i.e., departments and levels of the system) is critical to foster coordinated implementation of technology in your district. 

Follow these 5 steps to enhance coordination of technology initiatives throughout the school or district:

Step 1. Build a Collaborative Team

Include staff from multiple departments and levels of the system in the technology implementation planning process. Engaging a wide-range of stakeholders early builds commitment across the system for the work and provides a foundation of support in planning and implementation efforts.

Action Steps:

  • Convene a team that includes the principal, lead teachers, specialist personnel, school board members, superintendents, assistant superintendents for curriculum and instruction, technology personnel, special education and program staff, parents, and community members
  • Dedicate time for the team to plan, collaborate, implement activities and discuss implementation results
  • Provide your team with the appropriate tools, check out our Tech Implementation Roadmap blog post for examples

Step 2. Pause and Take Stock

Take a minute to reflect and learn from the past to refine your technology implementation plan.

Action Steps:

Step 3. Refine Your Vision for Technology Use

Work collaboratively to enhance your vision statement to ensure you are addressing the learning outcomes for all student subgroups (e.g., English Language Learners, students with disabilities) in the district.

Action Steps:

  • Adapt current vision to include use of technology-supported evidence-based strategies
  • Consider integrating principles of universal design for learning
  • Include language on accessibility and equity in accessing tech resources

Step 4. Define Goals to Achieve your Vision

Collaborate with your team to develop shared short- and long-term goals, and identify specific action steps to realize your goals.

Actions Steps:

  • Define short- and long-term goals
  • Identify activities and set timelines to achieve goals and impact practice in the classroom
  • Determine what data you will collect and when to assess effectiveness of implementation and impact of activities conducted; these data can be used to inform continuous improvement of your efforts

Step 5. Communicate the vision

Clearly communicate the vision and goals.  A successful communication plan supports an ongoing flow of information and outlines a schedule to facilitate ongoing progress updates to all stakeholders.

Action Steps:

  • Develop a communication plan to facilitate ongoing progress updates to all stakeholders
  • Consider the following strategies that could increase stakeholder commitment to the vision and implementation activities
    • Post announcements on the district and school websites
    • Maintain continuous communication with school staff through regular emails
    • Schedule face-to-face meetings with core leadership team members to monitor progress and assign tasks
    • Provide regular updates to parents and community stakeholders

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