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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

What Is the Purpose of This Book?

Who Should Read This Book?

What is Presented in This Book?

What Process Should You Use for Making Technology Decisions?

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

Chapter 4: Knowing What to Get

Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users

Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

What Process Should You Use for Making Technology Decisions?
Suppose you travel to a foreign country for a vacation. You've read about several destinations that sound exciting and wondrous. Your only problem is that you've lost your map. No matter how much you may have prepared for this trip, the only place you can go without a map is to the nearest information booth for guidance - only you don't even know the language...

The key to ensuring that the technology solution you choose will work as desired and that the anticipated benefits will be realized is to follow a proven logical process for sound decision making. First and foremost, you want to specify your requirements and keep them in the forefront. Solutions that don't meet your requirements aren't really solutions.

There are many published methods for building technology solutions, and they generally contain similar types of elements. This document describes the different steps of the process in a way that will help to meet your specific needs in educational settings. Specifically, the book contains guidance on the following steps:

  • Define the task and the steps needed to undertake the task (Chapter 1).
  • Conduct a needs assessment and define your technology requirements (Chapter 2).
  • Describe your current computing and networking technology resources (Chapter 3).
  • Evaluate options and select your preferred technology solution (Chapter 4).
  • Implement the selected technology solution (Chapter 5).
  • Train the users (Chapter 6).
  • Make plans for supporting and maintaining your technology solution on an ongoing basis (Chapter 7).
These steps are illustrated in Figure 1.1.

You should note that Steps 2 and 3 should be done simultaneously, and so should Steps 5 and 6.

Think of this document as a map that will help you find your way as you walk through the various steps of the process. This map will lead you to make the decisions that best meet your needs. It will even teach you a little of the language.

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