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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

What Technology Resources Do You Have Available?

What Hardware Do You Have in Your Organization?

What Application Software is Available?

What Networking Capabilities Do You Have?

What Human Resources Do You Have available?

What Financial Resources Are Available?

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 3: Knowing What You Have

What Human Resources Do You Have Available?
If you have computers in your organization, you are likely to have people who know how to use them. Some of those people may even have knowledge of the mechanics of computer operation. Even if you don't have any computers, many people in the field of education have used computers elsewhere. Some might be quite sophisticated when it comes to putting together computer systems and developing user-friendly applications. Identify these people, as they could become invaluable to your development efforts!

First, find those people with whom you work who have experience and/or training in developing and managing computer systems and networks. They should be able to help with issues involving computer programming, software development, and computer repair. They can also help you document your technology resources and plan for what you will need.

Determining the hardware, software and network topology within an organization may seem like a huge task. It is! But it is manageable if persons who actually have the responsibility for developing the technology solutions and providing support are also responsible for handling the purchase of new technology equipment.

If you are the person responsible for making the technology decisions at your school, ask the district, county or state offices the following questions:

  • Who has developed the topology for the networks in my organization?
  • Do hardware standards exist?
  • Is there a suite of software that is recommended?
If there are no answers to these questions, ask for recommendations about hiring a consultant from outside the organization to find the answers. Even though there might be a teacher, or an Internet guru, within your group who is knowledgeable about all of these issues, it is still advisable to hire an objective person from outside who will be able to guide your staff through the development of a Needs Assessment or Technology Plan. Many times your "guru" will have the solutions in mind before consulting with the staff who will actually work with the computers and the network. This approach does not allow your other users to "buy into" the move toward the technology age.

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