Steps for Software Approval
Software approval must first go through the site principal, site PLC, and then Subject Area Council. This ensures communication.
Here is the rationale and process:
•Teachers or sites interested in getting software approved must go through their site principal. The site principal needs to support the decision to implement the software and also understand that the purchase of the software comes out of the site budget. Principals need to allocate funds to purchase software. If it is all good then Technology needs to be contacted by the employee requesting the new software. Technology will work with the requestor to test the software to ensure it works properly, doesn’t include annoying adware/malware/spyware, and can be distributed to other computers.
•The next step has two parts. The first is to discuss the proposed software with your site-level PLC group and department chair. If the PLC agrees that the software is needed then the department chair will bring the request to their Subject Area Councils. This is the big shift. The old method was to bring the request to the Educational Technology Council (ETC). ETC was finding that people were not communicating with their principal, their department, or their SAC. The council had to turn down requests because it cannot speak for others. Put the software request on the SAC agenda, have the person or persons requesting the software attend the SAC and show how it works, and then the SAC can approve or deny the request.
Here are some questions that should be asked during the software discussion at PLC and SAC:
- What is the need, and does the suggested software meet the need?
- Is similar software already being used elsewhere in the district that could be replaced by the suggested software?
- Are other alternatives available that address the need at a lower cost (or for free)?
- Will this software be used directly by students or only by staff?
- If used directly by students the software must be web-based and fully compatible with the Chrome web browser. This ensures compatibility with student Chromebooks and that students can use the software from home.
- Will the software run on both Windows and MacOS? If it only runs on one platform it will exclude many teachers.
If the SAC approves the request then it is forwarded to the ETC. The tech department may need to do additional testing but at this point the tech department is in the process.
I hope that this doesn’t seem like more work or more hurdles but in actuality it is smoother than what was before. This way, the sites, Principal, SAC, and stakeholders are involved in the process and then the ETC can help and support teachers.