Vision BEFORE Purchase

As the chairman of the Technology Committee at my school, I have been charged with the task of assembling a team of educators who will be responsible for setting the direction in terms of technology. One thing that I have to make clear to the committee is that making decisions about technology is not about spending money on tools and then deciding what you are going to do with them. I know that probably more than half the SMART boards that are in classrooms are being used as screens…a total waste of money. Many of these IWB are also being touched by only one person…the teacher. In that case, a Sympodium would have been a way better solution. Now, we are seeing iPads being purchased with absolutely no idea of how they are going to be used.

Our job as a tech committee is to decide what direction we want to take technology in our building. We are scheduled to have total WiFi throughout the school by the end of January 2012. With that, comes a number of discussions which need to occur. For example, school owned devices or student owned devices? Do we purchase a class set of laptops? Who’s going to maintain all this stuff? I can see some heated discussion occuring at some of these meetings. But I think that is what needs to happen…we have to have those difficult conversations and we have to solidify a short and long term technology plan BEFORE we purchase anything new.

I love this post from Bill Ferriter where he brainstorms how he would spend $18000 on technology.

There are so many different directions to take technology within a school. We need to spend some time examining what is important and what role technology will play. Otherwise, we are going to have a bunch of expensive toys gathering dust.

This is a cross post from my blog



  1. Dave said:

    Great post Derek. I have seen this happen all over my district. I personally had a InterWrite Board. Between the one hour tutorial we were given and my unfamiliarity with the tool, I was never able to master using it. I offered to give it to another teacher who actually use it or send it to another teacher within our district in a school who did not have any. This was not allowed due to inventory purposes. The board’s only option was to collect dust in my closet. There are a great deal of problems with the approach education takes purchasing, training, and using technology.

    September 19, 2011
    • Derek Hatch said:

      Thanks Dave,

      It is good to know that I am not alone. I went to a Techmentor session today where I saw some pretty cool and innovative stuff, but we always need to ask the questions: Will this work at my school? Will people actually use it? Will it help me teach the curriculum.

      Thanks again for the support and the comment.


      September 19, 2011
  2. […] SmartBoards, iPads, etc., yet what is the vision behind this. ¬†Derek Hatch on Connected Principals wrote about this same idea and stated, “We need to spend some time examining what is important and what role technology […]

    September 19, 2011

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