Tips & Resources
May 4, 2024

The Admin Playbook for Successful Implementation: How to raise ROI on district edtech

More than a dozen ready-made resources to support stronger returns on your district's edtech investments.

Taking the plunge to purchase a district-wide tech tool is far from simple. 

Beyond tight budgets and ESSER fund cliffs, the possibility of poorly executed implementations makes some administrators hesitant to explore new platforms for their tech stack.

However, the current consolidation movement offers an ideal time to clear the bench of inefficient, ineffective products, and leverage more successful classroom technology.

According to several leaders who aced district implementations—as well as others who learned from their mistakes—here are five phases of tips to stimulate a stronger return on investment for your next edtech rollout.

The Implementation Journey: A playbook of practical tips and templates for each phase
Phase 1: Positive experience leading to district purchase

When teachers find a tool they like, good news travels fast. You know the drill. Free accounts hit the paywall, inquiries travel up the chain, and requests land in your inbox. 

Sample above shows one way Upland announced the Quizizz pilot to get staff on board.

Now is your opportunity to put this product to the test, and a pilot program is a perfect way to do so, said Casey Steinert, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Educational Technology at Upland Unified School District in California. 

“We told teachers, ‘Alright, you say that you want this tool, now show it with your usage.”

During Upland’s three-month pilot of Quizizz, they helped champion these usage efforts by assigning tech leads at every school site to a) host PD Thursdays, b) give edtech presentations at monthly staff meetings, c) recruit other teacher trainers, and d) genuinely bolster product knowledge for future investment. 

Upland budgeted for these efforts through a post-pandemic fund, but when this isn't possible, Steinert suggested offering curriculum & planning rate stipends, donated gift cards, or professional learning credits.

Regardless of which platform you purchase, the company should equip your staff with a set of resources and tools to fully support the launch. Here are the templates Upland used to ensure success during their initial rollout: 

Left: Work with the company to facilitate a pilot program, and provide district-wide communication to promote high quantity usage during the trial period. Center: Collaborate with the Customer Success team to access a wide range of user-friendly PD materials that encourage high quality, practical application. Right: Ensure the capability to track school- and district-wide activity and engagement through a tool like the Admin Dashboard.

Need more support to decide if the tool is worth the investment? Check out these ready-made resources to vet edtech more stringently:

Left: ‘Evaluate the Tech’ templates by Brian Seymour, Assistant Superintendent of Academics and Innovation at Whitehall City Schools in Ohio (formerly of Pickerington Local Schools). Right: Tech Audit Scorecard by Quizizz
Phase 2: Partnership kickoff to plan for success

Congrats, your district decided to purchase ______! (insert name of edtech tool, hopefully Quizizz😉). Now is a crucial time to strategize how you’ll hype up and educate your entire staff, not just current users, to ensure the strongest ROI.

What's next: Conduct a Kickoff Call with Customer Success to review the Implementation Plan and set goals for the future, (see below).

Phase 3: Quick and customizable PD

Although time is super tight during back-to-school season, Upland saw a ton of success with their virtual, flexible PD sessions that met each teacher where they were at on their edtech journey. Check out this sample of their schedule (see right):

Resources like this 'Quizizz in 5' piece also help fit quick and customizable edtech PD into a packed agenda.

Another Upland tip for success? PD prep time that takes seconds, not hours.

“One thing that's been really helpful for us during implementation is the amount of resources we've gotten from Quizizz,” Steinert said. “The training materials really are plug-and-play. We can present them, and they speak for themselves, which has given us so much more time to coach and connect with teachers and get into classrooms.”
Access the template!

No worries if your district missed back-to-school season PD. Fast and effective catch-ups can happen at any point of the year. An excellent resource for this would be this SpeedTraining slide deck by Gary Lambert, Director of 21st Century Learning at Beekmantown Central School District.

This weekly newsletter is how Upland communicates edtech updates to their teachers, which ensure quantity and quality of usage.
Phase 4: Ongoing resources & support

Following the initial buzz of a shiny new tech tool, don’t let your district fall victim to the post-PD dropoff. 

Instead, continue to support teachers by consistently sharing resources (hopefully provided by the company) to best support their use of the platform. These bite-sized materials should save time, boost engagement, and offer ready-to-go classroom tips and tools.

Click to see some examples of the On-Demand Resources Quizizz offers customers for added value and continued support.
Phase 5: Long-Term Awareness & Leverage

If the tool you purchased was truly worthy of your district’s funds, hopefully the product is updated throughout the school year to frequently elevate the user experience. 

Appoint someone to stay in-the-know on new platform releases, teacher tips, and success stories through sources like a What’s New page, Blog, YouTube and Twitter (X). Then, create a consistent method staff can count for sharing these updates, such as in this Upland newsletter (see right).

Planning for the Future: EdTech’s expanding role prioritizes implementation improvements

Districts are rapidly consolidating their overflowing tech stacks, but make no mistake that edtech is here to stay. 

Only those with the right efficiency and foresight into the future needs of educators and students will survive, said Dr. Joe Phillips, Chief Information Officer for Broward County Public Schools.

“I am not sure we have ever experienced a shrinking EdTech Market and an EdTech Arms Race at the same time. And I predict that it is going to get very interesting,” said Dr. Phillips in his March 2024 LinkedIn article.

Though the technological whirlwind in education feels both exciting and overwhelming right now, making implementation improvements is within every district’s reach. By using the right steps, plans, and resources, every district has the power to earn stronger returns on edtech investments.

Interested in chatting more about how to raise the edtech ROI in your district with Quizizz? 

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