Technology has revolutionized education, and there is much to come. However, it can be difficult to integrate educational technology into existing systems. At Ricoh, we have worked with many educational institutions and have seen this problem first hand. Unfortunately, one of the most common ways to select an education technology provider seems to be through trial and error. This is an uninformed, time-consuming, and costly process. It’s important to have the right technology, but it can be argued that having the right implementation partner is even more important..
Here are three tips that we believe educational institutions should consider when implementing educational technology.
1. Be patient and think long-term
A successful implementation takes time. If you give up on a piece of technology after a week or a month, you’re never going to get anywhere. It’s important to take a long-term view of your needs and where you really want to be. In many cases, social integration is just as important as technical integration. Staff need time to accept and get accustomed to the idea of a new, technology-based workflow. One way to combat this is to develop a multi-year plan, which includes the appointment of an internal ambassador of the new workflow. The ambassador can manage relations between the technical solution provider and the internal employees. With a proper, multi-year plan, setbacks (technical and social) can be accounted for and the integration kept on track.
2. Have open communication
Integrating an edtech solution requires many steps and decisions along the way. Open lines of communication will ensure employees’ real needs are being met. Trainings as well as question and answer sessions with a technical solution provider or an internal ambassador can help clarify and resolve issues quickly and effectively.
3. Use analytics to help inform decisions
A modern educational institution has a lot of data that can be analyzed to help inform decision making. Having a weekly review of such analyses can ensure appropriate solutions are being devised. Numbers don’t lie: analytics can show whether something works or doesn’t. This data can be used to create better solutions going forward.
Integrating educational technology is beneficial to your academic institution’s vast network of administrators, staff, instructors, and students. By keeping these three tips in mind, you’ll ensure that the implementation of your new system will be more efficient and effective.
Talk to a Ricoh representative about our education solutions and extensive education technology integration experience.