There are many factors to consider as your school makes the transition to digital learning. It’s not as simple as calling up a company, ordering a hundred copies of the digital books you want and hoping that it works out. Instead, there are some important steps to follow to ensure that the process is as easy as possible for your school.
1. Know Your Preferred Devices
The first step is looking at the devices your students will be using. Specifically, what devices are available and how your school will be using them.
Common devices include:
It’s important to look at the devices that are available and what your current school population is already using. If you have a group of students and parents who love and know iPads, then it’s probably a good idea to avoid Chromebooks for your school. The type of device will help determine what you can and cannot do, and what resources are available to you. If you introduce something new that no one understands – or even wants to learn how to use – you’ll be faced with resistance from the outset.
2. Check Your School’s Network Bandwidth
Another crucial consideration is making sure your school’s network bandwidth can support the curriculum and digital resources you want to use it for.
EdTech had a school give us a call and place a large order of digital books. A couple of weeks later, we received a second call from the school saying only half of the students could download and use their books. As EdTech began to troubleshoot and search for a solution, it was finally revealed that the school’s network didn’t have the capacity for all the students to read their ebooks at the same time.
It’s important to talk to your network administrators so they understand what you’re planning and can make sure you have enough bandwidth for the number of students that will be using the different ebook platforms for your school.
3. Confirm Your Digital Security is Up to Date
While you’re talking to your network administrators about bandwidth, add digital security to your list. Digital security is the process of protecting your online identity. Unfortunately, the more we’re online the more vulnerable we can be to hackers.
According to iKeepSafe:
Educators are responsible for protecting student data, maintaining secure networks, filtering and monitoring any access shared by students. Policies should be aligned with state and federal laws:
CIPA, HIPPA, FRCP 34 (archiving), Individual State Laws, FERPA, NCIPA, Special Education Laws, COPPA, Broadband Act -Protecting Students for 21st Century.
Network administrators must keep current on the security needs for technology within the school, including: configuration testing, monitoring, and updating of all systems, including computers, servers, and networks. They also are responsible for:
- Data backup
- Personal devices connecting to the network
- Logging and log analysis
- Antivirus and spyware suppression
- Filtering, patching, and firewalls
- Documentation of systems
- Appropriate user access
- Crisis preparation
With the shift to virtual classrooms in recent years, schools will need to remain vigilant about digital security.
4. Get Teacher Buy-In
The reality is, a school can buy all the devices and curriculum it wants, get it all up and running so the process is beautiful and fluid, but if teachers don’t use it, you’re wasting money. Many teachers resist implementing ebooks because they simply don’t want to use or learn new technology in their classrooms.
The school may have invested in new technology in the past but didn’t train teachers on how to use it; or teachers may have been discouraged because they weren’t consulted ahead of time and didn’t have any way to incorporate the new technology into their lesson plans.
EdTech solves this problem by scheduling a department head meeting to help get both administrators and teachers on the same page. We ask questions like:
- What are the current platforms being used?
- What are some of the resources you like to use?
- How are the books being used in the classroom?
What we find during these organic conversations is that teachers are using the online classroom environment, content resources, and even print books in a different way than the administration had thought.
It’s crucial to get teacher buy-in before making the investment to go digital. Nine times out of 10, any pushbacks teachers have can be solved by reassuring them of ongoing trainings available to help them feel comfortable with the devices and platforms, and address any issues that come up.
5. Schedule a Free Demo with EdTech
EdTech is always there for you, offering relentless support for school and a cutting-edge approach to ebook implementation. Our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need at their fingertips. We also provide students and their parents with access to all their content on an easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases. We know that ‘going digital’ can be scary – we make it a pleasant and positive experience for all involved! EdTech is the schools’ premier and modern-day choice for simple, easy, and fast ebook implementation.
To discover an all-in-one digital solution for your classroom ebooks and how we can work with your school to make your ebook implementation a breeze, contact us to schedule a demo!
EdTech Solutions leverages education technology to improve learning by making it easy and simple for schools and students to manage and access individualized digital content on any device. EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to schoolwide ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need while providing students and parents with access to all their content on one easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases.
When you work with us, we create a personalized bookstore for your school where students can access and purchase their ebooks and textbooks on Shelfit.com. We also help publishers make their content available digitally to students on our robust multi-publisher ebook reader platform. We strongly believe that knowledge and good education should be available to all, and we are committed to developing and providing the online learning tools and modern services that make it possible.