Today, technology in education includes more than just computers and tablets. From robotics to coding to virtual reality and beyond, our schools and our students are exploring a variety of technology tools.
The Innovative Tech Framework is designed to help schools as they thoughtfully consider how a new technology might support student learning. While it is not intended as a tool to vet or approve selections, it does provide the groundwork for schools and our district to consider when and how new technologies fit into our district vision and to consider how technology diffuses from a few sites to become a tool adopted by many. It also gives schools and staff a set of critical questions that should be considered prior to purchase along with the stakeholders who can assist in answering those questions. Most importantly, it provides schools and staff a means to partner with district stakeholders in DTS and Curriculum and to communicate and share innovations across the district.
|Innovation||Early Adoption||||||||Early Mainstream||Mainstream|
|A framework to help St. Vrain thoughtfully diffuse innovative technology into the district.||Being explored by a few people with as yet unknown benefit or impact. |
Sparking new ideas
|Use and examination by a subset of people for potential expansion.|
Preparing for launch
|*||Supported and accepted as an optional part of learning in St. Vrain.|
Getting the word out
|Embedded into every day learning in St. Vrain.|
|Before you begin||check out Codex|
|What are key considerations?||Does it meet privacy requirements?|
Does it meet security and safety requirements?
Is it compatible with our infrastructure?
|Does it meet an unaddressed need?|
Does it align with curriculum and learning goals?
|Is it best suited to meet the identified need?|
Are there other solutions already in place?
|Who should be part of the conversation?||Awareness: Site Administrator|
Inquiry: Innovation Center
Network: Senior Manager of IT Operations and Infrastructure
Privacy: Manager of IT Service Delivery
Safety: Risk Management
Curriculum: Executive Director of Curriculum
Support: Senior Manager of Technical Support
PD: Coordinator of Professional Development
Awareness: Area Assistant Superintendents
Implementation: DTS Learning Technology Team
|What does support look like?||Self support||Site based support|
Consultation from Innovators
|Full support by curriculum and DTS|
PD is available
|Where is it being used?||Innovation Center|
One or a few individual spaces in the district (a single library, maker-space, extracurricular clubs.)
|Many individual spaces in the district|
A few classrooms
|Most individual spaces in the district|
|Most or all classrooms|
|Who funds and refreshes?||Site level||Site level|
Some seed money possible
|Some district resources, but no guarantee of continued funding|
|What is an example in each stage now?||Misty Robot||AR/VR|||||||||3D Printer||iPad|
*Is it… scalable? supportable? sustainable? good for students?
To see a list of items that are currently being explored using the Innovative Tech Framework, click here.
The Innovative Tech Framework is grounded in the work of Everett Rogers.
The process of diffusion is often different than that of a traditional resource adoption. Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is explored and communicated throughout the district over time by staff. (Rogers, 2003).
For technology and resources to move from a state of diffusion (the Innovation and Early Adoption stages) to one of formal adoption (Early Mainstream and Mainstream stages) in the district, they will be required to go through the formal district approval process.
Four Stages of Innovation
It is important to note that not every technology will move through all 4 stages of innovation. Depending on the item and purpose, it is entirely possible that a specific technology will remain in Innovation or Early Adoption stage OR that it fall completely out of the Innovation framework.
A good example from our district page would be Promethean ActivSlates and ActiVotes. In the early 2000s, these were seen as an Innovation and moved to Early Adoption as more schools explored their use. However, without a formal plan for scaling and sustaining and with the advent of other new technologies, these are no longer seen as common tools in our district
Innovation: At this stage, a technology or resource is being investigated by one or a small number of people and they may be unclear at this stage whether the innovation is worthy of adoption by others. By working in concert with the Innovation Center, ITC and LTC teams, schools can ensure that the technology they are considering will work within our district ecosystem.
Early Adoption: At this stage, a technology is beginning to be seen at several sites, but before it is considered for more widespread adoption, we will need to consider:
- Is it supportable?
- Is is sustainable
- Is it scalable?
- Is it “good for students?”
Early Mainstream: Items in this stage are more widespread, but a formal plan to implement them across all sites has not yet been developed. In Early Mainstream, both Curriculum and DTS are aware and able to support and some professional learning opportunities are available. Many of the items in Early Mainstream will be available through the LTP TeCHoices selection process.
Mainstream: At this stage, a technology is adopted and implemented at all sites and a formal plan for refresh has been identified.
The critical questions outlined beneath the “Before you Begin” area of the framework are designed to ensure that key partners, clear communication, and thoughtful actions are a part of the process. We encourage schools and departments to engage DTS, Curriculum, the Innovation Center and others in the planning stage so we can all move together well.
Check out the the district’s Codex! A list of technologies in St. Vrain aligned with their implementation stage.