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Ed Tech Purchasing Decisions: The More the Merrier

by Bart Epstein and Phyllis Lockett

eSchool News

Article excerpt

5 ways to give teachers and principals more say in ed-tech buying

Today, we’re seeing a growing number of new ed-tech solutions being adopted directly by teachers, prompting an opportunity to revisit who should be making decisions when it comes to which technologies are used in schools. A recent Digital Promise report found that, for the most part, teachers and principals play a modest role in needs assessment and procurement, and that district administrators serve as the gatekeepers for school-level technology.

Our take

Making More Inclusive Classroom Technology Purchasing Decisions

A recent national survey of 4300 teachers by TES Global revealed that, while 63 percent of the teachers responding said they felt they should be the primary decision-makers about classroom technology purchases, only 38 percent were even offered an opportunity for input. Teachers are, by and large, the ones who will use the technology that district administrators decide to purchase. Principals, according to these authors, should also have a greater role. What is the situation in your school district and how you can ensure that teacher and principal inputs are being considered?

It can be easy to fall back on traditional ways of making decisions without considering whether new approaches could produce better results—this is one area where that is certainly the case. As these authors suggest, there are a number of things that school systems could be doing to give teachers and principals more of a voice in the technology choices that will so directly impact classrooms and student learning. These include: being clear about who the ultimate decision-makers are, conducting needs assessments, encouraging innovation, piloting solutions and involving educators in evaluation.

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