Choosing the right edtech tools is easy – so long as you have taken the time and effort to build a strategy first.  Without a strategy, you can quickly find yourself caught in the trap of investing in technology for the sake of technology. As a result, you can wind up with tools that don’t solve the most significant problems, are packed with features you don’t need, and make daily tasks more complicated for your staff and students.  To ensure you choose the right edtech and get the best return for your school, you need to step back and challenge yourself with “what are the problems we need to solve?” and “why are we investing in this?”. Here are the key steps you should take when building your edtech strategy:

Define your goals

At a high level, work out what you want to achieve from your edtech. Are you looking to streamline daily school management tasks? Simplify reporting and compliance? Save time when marking attendance and providing feedback to parents, and when curriculum planning, timetabling and performance tracking? Improve engagement with the school community?  Consider how your edtech strategy aligns with the school’s strategic goals.  For example teachers are looking for the perfect balance of less red tape, more time, and better insights and tools for deeper wellbeing and learning engagement with each student.  Think about where your education technology will fit in when supporting educators, students and their community? Aside from human-centric goals, you may also have goals around the school’s management. For example, if you want to have more confidence in managing and maintaining school property assets, your edtech strategy should include school asset management software or a property information platform.  Setting goals ensures you have a clear purpose when choosing and implementing your edtech and keeps you focused on the features and tools that will help you achieve those goals. 

Build your data strategy

Data should be a key consideration for your edtech strategy. Are you leveraging your school data to its fullest? You might be examining results, for example, but this is only a tiny percentage of the data you need to make strategic decisions. Or perhaps you are viewing data in isolation and, therefore, not seeing the whole picture of students’ performance.  With the right edtech strategy, you can invest in the right LMS platform to connect, consolidate and digitise the school’s data.  This can help automate processes, such as reporting, to improve workflows and efficiencies. With the ability to access the correct data quickly, your school admin and teaching staff can save time and focus more energy on tasks that will make a difference to students’ learning and wellbeing.  The right edtech will also help you analyse data to drive greater insights and support more informed decision making. With good analytics it can enable schools to easily access live dashboards and reports that facilitate meaningful evidence-based discussions with teachers, parents and students. 

Plan for the future

When building your edtech strategy, consider what features you will need as the school grows.  Scalability is essential. Look for a platform that meets your needs now and allows for growth, rather than requiring a whole new edtech tool as your school grows. That could mean choosing a powerful open platform to put at the heart of the school’s edtech strategy, then selecting best-of-breed solutions to run on top of that core platform as your needs evolve, or choosing solutions with everything in one place.  Schools are unique and complex environments, so it’s critical to choose premium products that are designed exclusively to address the challenges and opportunities they present.  Think of your school as a complex network of systems that are all working together and connecting to facilitate the flow of information and resources to support student learning. Any tech products you choose should complement and enable this, not work against it. 

Put security first

With cybercrime a real threat, it’s critical to prioritise data security in your edtech strategy.  Work with an edtech provider, like Education Horizons, that is committed to helping schools ensure their data is secure. For more on data security, read our 6 tips to ensure your school’s data remains protected. 

Choose a central single source of truth 

Choosing a single platform as the heart of your edtech strategy can help your school reduce complexity and save time and hassle compared to multiple platforms.  A good school management system can provide a core database as your single source of truth and should be able to manage complex family structures and historic, current and future data. Modules and integration options are a great way to build your ecosystem specific to your schools needs and give you the most flexible approach.

Build it, and success will come

If you’re planning to invest in technology for your school, creating an edtech strategy to understand your goals and needs is critical. Start today by talking to our experts about creating an edtech strategy for your school.  Call us on +61 1800 498 642 or +44 193 540 3020 or email