Essential Conditions

Support policies

Policies, financial plans, accountability measures and incentive structures to support the use of ICT and other digital resources for learning and district school operations

What is it?

To keep students safe online and guide the appropriate use of technology, education leaders need to develop support policies that provide a framework for effective operation and application. These should address all aspects of technology use across all stakeholder groups, from high-level policies governing web filtering and access to low-level policies around digital citizenship and acceptable use agreements.

Why is it important?

Policies help streamline the tech integration process by establishing protocols and focusing technology use on achieving specific learning goals. They guide students and teachers toward more effective uses of technology, which in turn will impact the initiative’s success.

Moreover, because policies serve as explicit statements of an organization’s vision, culture and attitude toward technology, they play a symbolic role as well as a practical one. By adopting the right support policies, education leaders can initiate positive systemic shifts in digital learning and teaching.

What does it look like?

Effective support policies take into account the needs and the realities of all stakeholders as well as the practical implications of the digital landscape. Technology integration often requires leaders to review and modify existing policies to maximize the benefits of digital tools and resources. When developing support policies for a technology program, consider:

  • How existing policies impact practice and culture
  • What policies, forms and incentive structures will support critical elements of technology integration, such as digital responsibility, cyberbullying, the acceptable use policy, professional development and web filtering
  • Financial plans, accountability measures and inventory management tools and approaches, such as passwords, Google accounts, and installation procedures.
  • Methods for gathering feedback and modifying policies and practices to fit the technology implementation vision

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Based on the ISTE Essential Conditions, the Lead & Transform movement provides district superintendents, CTOs, CIOs, school leaders and other decision makers with a roadmap for planning and building a successful systemwide tech initiative.

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Evaluate your school or district’s progress toward technology integration with the Lead & Transform diagnostic tool. You'll get data that will help you identify where you align with the ISTE Essential Conditions and where you have room to grow.

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