The Danger Hour

Question: How do you introduce a new tech initiative?
Answer: Very carefully.

We spend a lot of time researching new technology options, anxious to learn the cons as much as the pros. This, and the decision, may be the easy parts. The hard part is the introduction to faculty and staff. Some programs never recover from poor introductions, no matter what their merits.

OES EdlineMy personal record on this score is far from perfect, but at least I try to be as careful as possible, flexible, and receptive to other’s concerns. My preference is to do pilot groups to test out an initiative, but sometimes an initiative can’t be piloted easily. Sometimes, a lot of people need to be involved.

We’re discussing a possible implementation of EdLine in the Upper School next year. To try it, though, we’d like to upload the full US student list, faculty list and schedule. That will create pages for all courses, with calibrated access by faculty, students and parents. This means we would need at least minimal participation by all US faculty.

We don’t take this request lightly. Our faculty work hard, and the last thing I want to do is create more work for anyone. However, this system may have benefits that warrant the implementation, including the saving of time with improved communications and access to information. As with anything, getting started will be the hardest part.

So, we took some care to craft the “Introduction to Edline” email for all US faculty. Here is a PDF copy:

OES Edline Introduction Email

We will discuss options with the US faculty next week, and listen carefully to their concerns, ideas and enthusiasm. Initial feedback and response to the email has been positive.

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