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Strategy & Big Picture

Improvement of EdTech is everyone's responsibility

How do you get EdTech that works for teachers, students, and parents? Read on to see.

EdTech collaboration
Jo Hopper

Jo Hopper

Jo is Sparkjar's Head of Partnerships. She has worked in a professional capacity with schools for over 10 years and also spent 5 years as a governor at her local secondary school.

For a long time technology in the classroom has felt like a battlefield; using technology that has been repurposed for educational purposes has left a bad taste in the mouth of many a teacher over the years. Our vision has always been to see technology in classrooms that feels as second nature as the tech in the rest of our lives does.

It shouldn’t be arduous to use technology, it should feel like intuitive second nature, and make life easier to a point where you can’t remember life without it.

As a Sparkjar user, you know that the result of educators and tech developers working together can deliver truly amazing results, and we want to encourage more of this so that value-led technology is delivered into schools and becomes an integral part of the education ecosystem.

The first step to this utopia is to help everyone understand their role in supporting a school’s digital vision. The main place that teachers, students, and parents can help is to keep their eyes and ears open for exciting new technologies that might benefit the school and then share these with the school via a clean process. Tech moves so quickly it is impossible for a single digital lead in a school to keep abreast of all the options out there, let alone evaluate them and make recommendations. By engaging all school stakeholders in an innovation-style process, you can help your digital team and SLT to prioritise and focus on tech that fits with the school vision, which is cutting edge, and which is recommended by the end users, you!

This might sound like a grand plan and a lot of work, but we’ve come up with a simple 3 step process to get this started in your school:

  1. Set up an email address for EdTech ideas to be sent to - e.g. innovation@myschool.org.uk
  2. Send an email to staff, students, parents, and governors explaining the new process, why you’re doing it, and what they can do to get involved
  3. Once the ideas start coming in, use a project management tool like Trello to organise them by categories such as “highly relevant”, “of interest”, and “not relevant”. In this way they can be shared with and prioritised by SLT for the digital lead to investigate and shortlist, relevant to the broader school strategy and digital vision.

By engaging everyone in the technology decisions within the school you make use of all your combined knowledge and foster an environment of communication and innovation.

If you have any ideas for ways you think we can improve and grow the Sparkjar platform, we’d love you to send them to hello@sparkjarapp.com so we can put them into our innovation process.

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