Technology Implementation Plan
Technology plays an important role in all aspects of life, especially in education improvement. The existing and potential merits of technology for foreign students in their learning of English language are well documented in research. Like their counterparts from discordant nations, Saudi students experience difficulties learning and using English as a formal language. However, the implementation of technology in different aspects of learning such as auxiliary English programs and language aiding-software, for instance, the multi-lingual Microsoft Office has helped Saudi students and other international students learn their written and spoken English. Thus, there is an urgent need for increased implementation and use of technology in colleges and universities to help Saudi students and other foreign students learn, use and improve their English language in formal and informal communication such as the utilization of Twitter that is explored in this paper.
The purpose of this technology implementation plan is to outline how Twitter can be used to engage Saudi students, as well as, other international students and help them learn and improve their written and spoken English.
The system will create a positive climate that fosters academic and social growth in students with a special focus on aiding Saudi students and other international students learn and improve their spoken and written English language in formal and informal platforms. Given that Twitter is a social media platform, it is capable of achieving both social and academic goals as stated by Evans and Dunlap and Lowenthal (Evans, 2013; Dunlap and Lowenthal, 2009). The implementation of Twitter as a learning tool is also aimed at providing appropriate professional and personal development since language is an integral part of both the academic and professional lives of students (Hunter and Caraway, 2014). The specific goals of implementation of Twitter as a learning tool for English include:
- Continued implementation of online language programs, sessions and courses
- Improved achievement in spoken and written language for foreign students
- Increased opportunities for online interaction between educators and international students on matters regarding improvement of their utilization of English language
The major components essential to the implementation of this technological system include hardware necessary to engage Saudi students and other foreign students on better ways of writing and speaking English such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones and the main software or program being Twitter that is integrated with portals and online sessions run by discordant institutions of higher learning. The technological system running on Twitter platform must also entail a balanced scorecard that is outlined in the management sector.
MANAGEMENT Overview-technology Implementation Plan
Internal Business Perspective
The three technical support areas in the prevailing learning environment that the implementation of the new technology system, that is, utilizing Twitter to help Saudi students and other international students learn and improve their use of English language will provide include:
- No loss of productivity or functionality
- Improved information transfer between existing systems
- Desired improvements to the existing systems
No loss of productivity or functionality
The concern in most schools with technology systems that aid learning is their ability to maintain functionality, productivity and data. Moreover, there is a need for fervent commitment and long-term planning for any proposed information technology solution which in this case is the Twitter platform. Since the existing system may find it difficult to maintain data, level of productivity, as well as, functionality due to the increased use of technology by educators and students and the complexity of the learning material, the objective of this proposed Twitter platform is to overcome the shortcomings of the existing system by providing better services capable of improving functionality and productivity and retaining data on students’ progress. This does not imply that the existing system is inefficient; instead, it implies that the Twitter platform provides a vast array of services including those that are provided by the current system to foreign students as Cohen and Duchan emphasize (Cohen and Duchan, 2012). The integration of Twitter into the English language learning process will also provide data analysis of the progress of the international students in learning and utilizing English after incorporating the online training and learning sessions, courses and programs in its assessment of productivity and functionality.
Improved information transfer between existing systems
Transfer of information between technology and departments is essential to the success of technology implementation. As such, the Twitter learning platform will include a formidable transfer data system that will address the following information transfer needs:
- Improved information on receipt of tasks and feedback between educators and students
- Easily accessible and frequently updated information on language content
- Timely status updates of available online language sessions and courses
In order to achieve these information needs, the system will have a centralized and integrated information transfer system that is capable of sharing large amounts of information about the existence of online language sessions, programs and sessions. The use of Twitter as a learning platform will break away from the conventional broadcast email system to relay information about online programs, sessions and courses. This will be achieved through the creation of live updates linked to the emails of every student and portals or avenues where internationals students can easily access online English courses or sessions and share their learning experiences.
Desired improvements to the existing systems
Advancement in various technological aspects of learning must continue to show internal priorities. Saudi students and other foreign students must continue to enjoy the same priorities they enjoy in the current system when the new Twitter learning platform is implemented. Some of the key desired improvements in the current system that the new technology or Twitter platform will address include:
- Extra automated features for assessing internal validity and data quality
- Improved ability to formulate and export user-generated reports in language progress
- Improved ability to organize information within attachments
- Web-interfaces to enable users or students to gain access remotely and upload information
Hidden costs through upgrades-technology Implementation Plan
There will be no hidden costs brought about by upgrades on the Twitter platform. This is because the technology system will allocate funds that will cater for all upgrades. Moreover, the frequent evaluations of the Twitter platform will outline the areas in the system that require upgrades in advance so as to allocate adequate funds for the upgrades.
In House Support vs. Manufacturer Support
The in house support will come mostly from the school. Given that the Twitter Platform for learning English as a second language by Saudi students and other international students is based on an already founded social media platform, the school will also depend on support from Twitter to make this technological implementation a success.
|Projected Planned||Total Cost|
|Grant match for wireless laptops||$2,000|
|Smaller IT equipment/maintenance/supplies||$25,000|
|Servers for virtualization and Polaris||$15,000|
|Computer, laptops, tablets and smartphones upgrades/replacements||$23,000|
|Live chats, video and other correspondence systems maintenance||$5,000|
|Data and Voice/Video/Live Network Connectivity|
|Live chats, video and other correspondence systems||$25,000|
|Software Support and Maintenance|
|Switches, cisco firewalls||$1,500|
|Spam solution for student and staff email||$1,500|
|Print management software||$5,500|
|Early literacy station||$500|
|Conference attendance and workshops||$2,000|
|Computers in libraries||$2,000|
|Polaris Users Group conference||$2,000|
|Technology Budget Total||$198,500|
Life Cycle of Product-technology Implementation Plan
This stage involves the testing of the Beta version of the Twitter platform by early adopters, otherwise referred to as “bleeding edge” (Kanguro Communications, 2013).
This stage involves moving beyond the beta to launching the Twitter platform. Being a novel technology system, the students and educators will take advantage of the newness of the system and start creating hype.
This stage involves acceptance of the Twitter platform by Saudi students and other international students as a suitable learning tool for English language. Moreover, international students are willing to engage with educators and other students on the platform to improve their use of English language in formal and informal settings.
The Twitter Platform for learning English among Saudi students and other foreign students will be implemented in two stages, that is, the pilot state and the rollout of the system in the school. The purpose of this pilot plan is to describe how the system will be implemented to provide Saudi students and other international students with a series of learning tools to help ensure the timely and successful implementation of the Twitter Platform for learning English language.
Contents of the Twitter Platform implementation Technology Implementation Plan
The value of this pilot plan is in the support it will provide for the Twitter Platform implementation staff and support teams. Thus, the focus of this pilot plan is to provide an inclusive set of information to facilitate the information on technology and learning English.
Process for Piloting the Twitter Platform Module
- Who will pilot the Twitter Platform module and sample the electronic materials?
- The module will be piloted by the English as a second language staff in school and selected tech operators.
- The piloting will be conducted at a predetermined school site or at an extended school program.
- When will the piloting process occur?
- For those in the school site, the piloting process will occur preferably by February 1, 2018.
- For others outside the school and its vicinity, the piloting process will occur during the summer when the school will be serving eligible international students.
- At certain sites, students and teachers may already be utilizing innovative technology and this can be declared as their pilot stage.
- How will the piloting process be done?
- Twitter Module
- Review the Twitter module and determine how this can support and sustain a professional learning need such as learning English as a second language within the school.
- Invite the school district to review and pilot the program.
- Provide input on the Twitter module by completing assessment forms and submitting them to the evaluator.
- Electronic materials
- Review the sample listing of electronic materials on English language use and improvement that can be accessed via the Twitter platform.
- Select at least two viable and reliable electronic materials and ask the school district within the state to pilot it and provide input on the assessment forms for evaluation.
- Identify the electronic materials that are not in use in the school and ask the school district within the state to pilot them and provide input on the assessment forms for evaluation.
- Submit the completed assessment forms for evaluation.
- What support is available?
- Review the list of coaches and systems such as Polaris for support on the training module.
- Twitter Module
This section meets students’ requirements for a phased installation of the Twitter Platform for learning English as a second language with the system fully operational no later than March 1, 2018. The schedule diagrams an eight week implementation period starting with piloting in January 510, 2018 and ending with full system implementation by mid-February, 2018.
Evaluation is a key component of this technology plan:
- The tech operators and educators will review the progress of the pilot based on the filled assessment forms.
- Each objective in this plan has a deadline and it’s the responsibility of the tech operators and educators to ensure that system meets these objectives in time.
Learning and Growth Perspective-technology Implementation Plan
The vision of the technology implementation plan is to have a system that is not only interactive but also inclusive. Some of the objectives and implementation process for staff training and development in the new Twitter platform include:
Objective 1: Implement technology solutions that enhance staff communication, efficiency and productivity by:
- Implementing a solution to schedule the utilization of shared English language information on computers and tablets.
- Support and maintain the utilization of smartphones for key staff members to guarantee access when needed.
- Increase the utilization of Room Reserve to aid the staff in scheduling all physical and online conferences that involve both students and teachers.
- With the help of the Twitter team, continue updating the information on English language available on the staff intranet, as well as, providing more resources on English language.
Objective 2: Upgrade and maintain computer equipment with the aim of providing efficient and consistent access to electronic services via Twitter through:
- Replacement or upgrading of all staff computers to improve performance and service delivery as funding allows.
Objective 3: Improve staff competencies in utilization of all appropriate computer resources by:
- Bringing in Polaris staff to aid in training the staff.
- Creating work or protocol sheets for staff to refer to for help with novel technology and common problems.
- Creating documentation for all staff in the use of Twitter technology for teaching English and basic troubleshooting.
- Determining the best options for offering staff training, both in-house and outside, for instance, MLA and MCLS.
The field of technology changes so rapidly that continuing training and education of the staff is essential. With continued introduction of updated hardware and software such as Twitter handles and buttons, staff members require frequent refreshers and training updates to help them keep their technology skills salient in teaching English language. They also require advanced level training to help them utilize Twitter-interfaced hardware such as computers, tablets and smartphones more efficiently and effectively. In particular, our staff members require more training on Twitter use, subscription database, Windows and other software applications. Thus, when available, staff comprising of educators and tech operators need to attend training classes and conferences to make the delivery of service to Saudi students and other international students efficient.
External Factors-technology Implementation Plan
With the help of the technical services staff and educators, the Twitter platform aimed at helping Saudi students and other foreign students learn and use English language can meet customer needs through:
- Exploration using the Pilot module to streamline the engagement and learning process and provide a central source for learning materials.
- Provision of assist as required by students and educators with configuring the customization and import of information to the database upon receipt from students and teachers who share information on English language.
- Increase in the options for student-to-student engagement and teacher-to-student engagement for purposes of learning English, sharing learning material and making inquiries regarding the use of English language in different occasions.
- Provision of track developments in the delivery of audio-visual materials on English language through the Twitter platform, including videos, tutorials, ebooks and downloadable music and videos among others. As the funding will allow and the technology fits, these new options will be added to the Twitter platform to foster customer satisfaction.
- Maintaining and improving electronic tools via Twitter to improve conversations in English with the community through live chats and videos, as well as, email and portal links for students to communicate with staff from the schools’ websites.
Cohen, A., & Duchan, G. (2012). The Usage Characteristics of Twitter in the Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal Of E-Skills And Lifelong Learning, 8, 149 – 163. http://dx.doi.org/10.28945/1733
Evans, C. (2013). Twitter for teaching: Can social media be used to enhance the process of learning?. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 45(5), 902-915. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12099
Dunlap, J., & Lowenthal, P. (2009). Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. Journal Of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 1-8.
Hunter, J., & Caraway, H. (2014). Urban Youth Use Twitter to Transform Learning and Engagement. English Journal, 103(4), 76-82.
Kanguro Communications. (2013). The Four Stages Of The Technology Life Cycle: How Technology Eventually Dies | Kanguro Communications. Kanguro Communications. Retrieved 5 December 2017, from https://kanguro.fi/blog/technology-life-cycle/