First step: Is it being used?
How can you be sure your educational technology is paying off? Are you getting the most value from your investment in terms of improving educational outcomes? The first step in answering this is understanding whether the technology you have installed is even being used.
I spoke with a CIO at one school district who was receiving lots of support tickets related to an expensive software application, but all the issues were coming from just one school. Why was that school having problems when all the other schools in the district were doing fine? The CIO opened up Extreme Analytics to see how much usage the application was getting and was surprised to see that none of the other schools were even using the software.
The easiest way to see if people are using licensed and often-expensive technology is with network analytics. These windows into network usage can provide the information you need to understand the return on your district’s technology investment. Extreme Networks’ analytics platform, Extreme Analytics, provides layer 7 visibility into which applications are being used by whom, at what locations, and at what time of day.
This helps answer the following questions:
- Are your investments in applications being used and leveraged effectively? If you purchased 100 Blackboard licenses, are they all being utilized? If not, is there a training opportunity or latent resistance on the part of students or faculty?
- Who is using what devices across the campus and grade levels, whether district-owned, 1:1 or BYOD? What are all the types of devices and when are they used most?
- How are high-performing classrooms using technology that others can learn from? Can instructors share the ideas that are making a difference?
- Are your students in a safe zone when using technology? How do you gain access to data about the origin of cyber-bulling? Are your students good digital citizens with an understanding of best practices with technology, social media, and application sharing?
- What applications are students using on their own that may be beneficial to others? How do high-performing students use applications during the day? What about low performing students?
- Is the school providing a fast and reliable network that makes students and staff feel comfortable using technology throughout the day, both inside and outside the classroom?
By answering these questions, your school district will gain a better understanding of which educational technology is working and where it can be improved or revamped. Your school board will be armed toeffectively report your technology investment progress to the community.
Request a free trial of Extreme Analytics to see the valuable information that resides within your network. You might be surprised applications and websites are being used and visited.