Monday, September 01, 2008

Tech Planning Primer needed?


Do you know all you need to know so you will have a top-notch technology planning document?

Without a doubt, most of us have gone through the process of developing a written technology plan.  Well, if we examine our efforts closely and objectively, will we vote that we've done the very best job possible?

Will we think our plan is the best it can be?  Or, are there areas in which we think we can improve?

This goes to the core of the "why" question for having a plan in the first place.

Why do we have technology plans?  To get that federal money?  To satisfy some externally-imposed requirement?  Because the organization next door has one, so we feel compelled to follow suit?

Why do we go through all the laborious, time-consuming effort to create a tech plan?  And, when all is said and done, is it all worth it?

I wonder how many technology plans--in the United States, alone--are created purely out of a burning desire to build a clear roadmap for the future.  And, how many of these will include thorough sets of objectives and goals that have been vetted and, thus, have earned broad-based support among constituents?  

From my experience, the percentage of school districts developing technology plans for all the right reasons is very small.  Most of the school leaders with whom I talk will tell me that they have to develop a tech plan so they can "get our money."

Yes, money is important--perhaps even crucial.  However, if this is the main reason for crafting a tech plan, the process is flawed from the beginning.  Granted, some great outcomes may result even from flawed processes, but just imagine how much better results could be!

So, my question to you is:  Do you think there is a need for a technology planning primer?

I have begun recording a series of podcast episodes that go through the technology planning process from start to finish.  I am using all the resources that NCTP (National Center for Technology Planning) has garnered over the years.  But...

if I continue to build it, will you come?

I'm depending upon you to let me know.  What do you think?  And, why?  What pieces would you like me to include in this program?

Leave a comment here, or else shoot me an email.

1 comment:

Mathew said...

I think the same can be said for school master plans, safety plans, parent participation plans, etc. They're usually more about satisfying technical, legal, funding requirements than any sort of vision for a school. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to overcome that. How do schools get a vision or prevent their vision from being overwhelmed by the technical requirements of writing such documents.