Behind the Scenes at a Middle School Technology Rollout Event – Digital Promise

Behind the Scenes at a Middle School Technology Rollout Event

October 24, 2016 | By

Device rollout is a huge event for every school in the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative, especially those in their first year of the program. It’s a celebration that marks the culmination of many months of hard work and preparation from district and school leaders, IT directors, teachers, and the entire community. Digital Promise Professional Learning Managers (PLMs) work with each school prior to rollout to help them plan the event and encourage teamwork. There is a heavy focus on pre-rollout professional learning to make sure teachers are ready for students to come to class with devices on the day after rollout.

Frank Borman Middle School in Phoenix, Arizona was the first school in Cohort 3 to hold its student device rollout. This video captures the excitement of the event and perspectives on how learning will change at Borman Middle:

Borman’s rollout was a huge success! Here are three key takeaways from their planning that set the school up for success:

Pre-Rollout Professional Learning
Support for teachers leading up to rollout is vital. Professional Learning needs a clear focus that will support the plan leading up to and after rollout. Teachers need to feel comfortable with their devices and have a strategy for their students’ first day with devices.

Clear Communication and Planning
Clear communication between site administrators, district staff and IT, and teachers who will help with rollout events is critical. Students also need to be involved and given a clear role for supporting the event. Staff should set up protected times to meet with teams; this will ensure everyone knows their role and what is expected of them in advance. On rollout day, having a clear plan and directions for volunteers will alleviate confusion. Step-by-step directions and/or pictures for each station are helpful. Sample completed forms at stations can be a great way to reduce confusion around filling out paperwork. Don’t forget to train your student tech teams — the Coach or rollout director can’t be multiple places at once.

Make sure to utilize all stakeholders. Students, parents, district and school administrators, and teachers should all take part in the rollout. This gives them ownership and creates buy-in across the board. Hold parents meetings prior to rollout. This cannot be stressed enough. The home-to-school connection needs to be strong to make this project a success. If parents cannot attend meetings prior to rollout, consider holding a session on the day of the event, or having videos that parents can watch on their own time.

Learn more about technology rollouts and the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative here.

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