Reviewing your school’s technology as part of structured and deliberate planning is necessary because technology:
Using the eLPF to carry out an e-learning and e-capability self-review provides accurate information to support your school when planning and making decisions about:
All the parts that tie the network together including cabling, network switches, servers, and wireless access points.
All the equipment that staff and students use, such as projectors, TVs, phones, desktops, laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks.
These run on your servers or in the cloud, for example, mobile device management, Google’s G Suite for Education, Microsoft Office 365, your student management system, library software, and your school website.
Software and apps
These run on your devices to make them useful.
Major changes to your school’s technology are likely to require significant planning and outside expertise to accomplish. Advanced notice of any potential changes from a regular review means fewer surprises and the ability to plan around any expense and disruption.
A review of your school’s current technology determines whether it currently meets your learners’ needs. Combined with your school’s vision, it can also determine whether your technology will meet future needs. The review should identify if your technology is:
To get the maximum benefit from a review of your technology, it should be undertaken as part of a considered strategy for using digital technologies to improve learning.
A deliberate strategy for reviewing your technology should be in place:
The annual review is best conducted at a time that fits in with your budgeting cycle. Term two is often suitable to give enough time to gather information and costs ready for the next financial year.
The annual review should include:
The three-yearly review should consider if the general alignment of technologies will meet the future needs of your school. Items that your three-yearly review could consider include:
A significant event review tends to be of a narrower scope than a three-yearly review and may focus on a particular event or trigger such as:
A significant event review should enable you to answer the following questions:
Use the discussion starters in conjunction with the e-Learning Planning Framework to:
This includes considering:
There are several ways to carry out a review of your school’s technology. You will need to consider who does the review and how it is done.
Just like any strategic planning process, a team approach is recommended as you identify your needs, create a plan, oversee the review and consider the implications. Having senior leadership involvement throughout the review process will help to ensure that it is part of the school’s overall strategic planning.
The ability of technologies to support teaching and learning should be in the foreground of any review. This can be done by ensuring the review’s focus questions have a clear link back to learning and teaching and your school-wide strategic plan.
Your review can be done by one or more of:
Reviewers should declare any conflicts of interest, particularly if they have been involved in previous technology decisions, or could benefit from purchasing decisions made as a result of the review. Consider a peer review conducted with a knowledgeable person from another school or organisation. Peer reviews help build the capacity for good decision-making within your school’s community. No matter who does the review, the cost, if any, should be agreed beforehand.
Prior to the review, you will need to agree with stakeholders on a set of questions to be answered and what format the review will be in. The questions will be decided by the type of the review: annual, three-yearly, or significant event. These questions should be made explicit so that they can be referred back to. It is likely that the review team will need to gather data from several sources. These may include:
Review questions should link teaching and learning to technological systems, for example:
Use the example technology review template to help plan your review. Items on the template are indicative of the areas that a technical review will typically cover. Particular circumstances (for example, purposes, priorities, and environment) will influence the details. While it is likely that each main area will apply, the details and questions that you answer will be specific to your situation and the template should be tailored accordingly. It is not intended as an exhaustive list of questions.
Your technical review should address:
The technical review will include facts, figures, and findings pertinent to each area. It could include:
The review report should be written up as succinctly as possible. The report should focus on the review questions, what evidence has been considered, and what the next steps should be. Solutions should be considered and recommendations justified. The report should be written in a way that a layperson can understand it.
Recommendations of the report should be considered in terms of impact on teaching and learning. To do this, it is important that stakeholders understand the report.
The report informs your school’s strategic planning and budgeting. This will require a set of actions to be managed in terms of people, costs, and time.
The nature of technology means some of the report’s recommendations may need immediate attention like security concerns or backups not working. Other recommendations may indicate longer-term projects.
Systems manager, Alistair Montgomerie, describes the infrastructure set up at St Hildas to enable all students and staff to use the Internet as part of their 1-1 laptops programme.
Systems manager, Alistair Montgomery describes St Hilda's management to ensure students can keep working on their laptops all day, relying on the battery.
St Hilda's College staff explain the process they went through to select MacBook Pros as the 1-1 device they are currently using.
Staff at St Hilda's talk about the difference that ultra-fast broadband has made to teaching and learning. It has made a significant change to teaching and learning approaches, and the ability to use internet based tools for both sourcing and storing information, and processing and delivering it.
Hingaia Penninsula School principal, Jane Danielson shares planning their technological infrastructure.
Principal, Shane Buckner and e-learning leader, Kate Friedwald, talk about the systems and setup they have at Wairakei School to successfully use 1-1 devices.
ICT leader, Fraser Malin describes how staff at Halswell School planned the infrastructure and incorporated technologies into their design for an innovative learning environment to support learning and teaching.
ICT leader, Fraser Malin explains how sound fields enable teachers to talk to students across a large and distant spaces at Halswell School.
ICT leader, Fraser Malins explains some key considerations for setting up a safe network that parents and students can access easily at Halswell School.
Dominic Killalea, Deputy Principal at Wellington High School, discusses some key infrastructure considerations to ensure good connectivity across your school.
e-Learning lead teacher, John O’Regan describes the important considerations for Hampden Street School to create reliable systems that meet the needs of their BYOD programme.
John O’Regan, e-Learning lead teacher Hampden Street School, describes their system for providing technical support to staff.
Hampden Street School e-leader, John O'Regan explains the importance of future proofing their infrastructure.
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The Ministry of Education's information about ways to maintain your upgraded ICT network and the Ministry’s programme of work.
This online guide will help your leadership team implement a strategic direction for integrating technologies school-wide for effective teaching and learning.
These resources are designed to support you, and your school, in assessing and developing your e-capability.
Example technical audit template.pdf (PDF, 250.03 kB)
A series of questions to support your school audit process. These are organised into technical leadership, technical support and management, procurement, infrastructure, services, systems and applications, user-facing devices, and the user experience.