A change initiative is a vehicle for delivering strategies and impacting progress in organizations. Normally, changes represent significant dimensions for achieving objectives and goals. In the modern world, businesses are transforming fast to keep up with customer trends, new technologies or innovations, and adhere to regularly introduced regulations. Organizations have to cope with unprecedented global shifts by adopting the right approaches. Entities that cannot adapt to growth opportunities are most likely to be outcompeted in industries by agile competitors; hence, preparing for a change is a priority (Akeju et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to provide an approach for implementing a change in an educational organization.
One area of concern that needs a new change is the technology sector that facilitates learning processes in an elementary school. Notably, digital innovations have impacted almost every aspect of life, and precisely in the learning environment. By far, education has been transformed by new inventions that improve access to studies and interactions (Gilbert, 2013). Reading materials such as books were rare in the past, and only a few individuals had the privilege to acquire them. Today, there is massive information in different forms such as videos, audio, texts, books, and images available on the internet. Moreover, opportunities for formal learning are available through online programs (Macfadyen et al., 2014). In the organization, educators recognize that contemporary teaching approaches need to cover more than basic subjects. Some topics such as global changes and awareness, economics, health, and environments are vital for learners. To be successful, there is a need to gain critical thinking: flexibility skills, problem-solving abilities, accountability, innovations, and adaptability. One way the educational institution has approached learners in these areas is by integrating technology in classrooms.
Access to technology is increasingly growing as children are at an average of 12 years old when they get their first portable device. Equipping a learning institution with technology materials such as the internet, computer laboratory, and simulation tools is meant to enhance, but not replace, the traditional instructional guidelines. Educators who embrace innovations in the classroom have the power to impact learning and engage students in sessions. While there are free or less expensive resources, others are costly and demand further interventions such as teachers’ training to expand understanding of usage. With such setbacks, an organization faces increasing access to digital learning tools and calls for effective reform to reap the maximum benefits of technology in the classroom.
Reasons for the Change
The new change anticipated to be implemented in the next 12 months is the “bring your own device” (BYOD) program. Essentially, it should be noted that this intervention is meant to reinforce the technology used currently in school. Although the institution has technological resources already, they may not be sufficient to ensure maximum learning integration with modern changes due to cost issues for acquisition, maintenance, and servicing. BYOD change initiative is a cost-effective strategy that will involve a collaborative effort between parents and the institution to share the resource burden (Liao et al., 2017). The aims are to facilitate school equity and remove barriers to the learning process while supporting learners with varied needs. Furthermore, this will give instructors more insights into the learning environment they intend to create.
The “bring your own device” strategy involves letting students carry mobile tools from homes such as tablets and personal computers into classrooms. The purpose is to support improved outcomes in learning. Instead of an organization won computing resources, as has been the current norm to date, the new change will include students’ owned materials. Besides, BYOD can be used as an alternative approach, such as additional support to school resources such as desktops or tablets shared between classrooms at different intervals. Ideally, most BYOD tools are suitable and more advanced than school computers. The organization sees the value of this practical implementation as support to student-center, active studies where learners take responsibility for their education. Furthermore, this would be a potential opportunity for differentiation in learning.
Introducing a BYOD plan comes with potential benefits that are key reasons for the organization’s change. They include promoting great participation from all learners in classrooms and familiarity with technology tools as most learners are uncomfortable with school resources. Markedly, if a child owns a digital device, they are more likely to take care of it well and possess support homework or class assignments at home. With that, it is high time the learning institution considers expanding technology access in school from more equity. Accessing digital resources is not enough to create true equity that will need the commitment to broaden access to devices for both learners and families.
How to Implement the Change
People to Involve in the Change
Key people to include in this change are teachers, students, parents, administrators, technicians, or technology experts. Learners are involved as major stakeholders because they are technology consumers who will utilize innovations in their learning process. Paying attention to these groups will entail enlightening them on how and when to use mobile devices while helping them understand challenges or address their concerns. The main focus is to align the acquisition of personal computers in school with academic goals, which would be achieved by communicating rules or policies. Students need to be informed of the expectations of using BYOD in class and the consequences of failing to adhere to proper utilization.
The next most important stakeholder group is parents anticipated to support the plan through the resource approach. School leaders know that parents are vital supporters of the plan and will help improve the school’s overall result through funding, device choice, security, communication, and training (Liao et al., 2017). Regular meetings with students’ parents are essential to navigate and interact with educational content delivered by the technology. In that way, doubts or questions raised would be cleared, pointing to how the technology approach is beneficial to learners. Individuals are expected to fund computers and know the rationale for the choice; thus, the organization must ascertain what mobile devices are optimal. Furthermore, parents might have questions or pressing concerns when it comes to technology use and students’ information. As such, their involvement in the change plan is crucial to obtaining consent.
BYOD initiatives will change teachers’ roles by requiring them to collaborate with students and support the new technology. Since the integral goal is to improve learning, educators are crucial stakeholders to facilitate implementations (Gilbert, 2013). Organization professional development programs must support workshops to enable instructors to increase knowledge and teaching methods with BYOD in the classroom. Preferably, professional growth should be an ongoing process after BYOD is successfully implemented.
Implementing a BYOD plan is not a direct approach without engaging individuals such as administrators, technology experts, and policymakers. Advisably, organization leaders should meet with key stakeholders to design a pilot plan and within the agency, there must be discussions to discuss current and future changes. Staff members from all units must be present to give input or feedback and garner buy-in for a common vision of the agency’s BYOD program. Legal advisers have to be incorporated into the plan since BYOD is a new project in the organization and across the school district.
An Implementation Plan
|Unfreezing stage|| ||Two months|
|Transition stage|| ||Seven months|
|Refreezing stage|| ||Three months|
A theory that underpins the proposed approach to change management is Lewin’s change management model. Concerning the implementation process, this theory is relevant because it exhibits three distinct phases of change encountered when integrating BYOD in school. Kurt Lewin is a prominent figure in sociology and has done abundant research on human change. According to the theorist, the stages of transition are unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Cummings et al., 2016). The unfreeze point is a melting process where behaviors, beliefs, and doubts are established as the organization’s status quo towards an implementation plan (Cummings et al., 2016). The first phase is the foundation of self to acknowledge the need for particular programs. In the case of BYOD plan implementation, students, parents, teachers, and some administrators are likely to exhibit resistance to shifting the learning culture due to doubts, lack of clear understanding, and concerns such as privacy issues, especially for parents.
In Lewin’s model, the second phase of the change process entails evaluating the possible solutions by trials. Impacts are felt on roles, values, and attitudes to restructure the organization and attain the aim. The third stage is refreezing and takes place after a transition process. Based on Lewin’s theory, transition taking place in the organization would involve moving from one point to another to reform a new culture. The aim is to integrate the adoption of BYOD and make it a habit for students to carry their portable technological devices and enhance learning.
Challenges to Face
Resistance to Change
Kurt Lewin knew that people organizations do not maintain the same state. He proposed that individuals change by moving from one phase to another and realize the benefits involved, which act as motivating factors. In the process, knowledge remains frozen until after some time when people unfreeze with new information or experience. However, there is a challenge of resistance as stakeholders are reluctant to accept new developments, forcing an organization to approach effective strategies such as communication and goal formulation. According to Cummings et al. (2016), resisting a transition within an organization is expected, and how leaders support people matters. New development plans come with fear or anxiety such that the current situation has tremendous power and uncertainty about innovations. Regarding the BYOD program, stakeholders such as teachers and parents may develop worries and concerns over the need to have home devices used at school (Liao et al., 2017). To some people, existing computing systems are adequate, and individuals may pass suggestions such as updating old technology instead of acquiring a new learning approach. Such confusions and frustrations make employees feel unwilling to embrace propositions.
Furthermore, resistance can result from sources other than emotions, for instance, impact on job performance, the trustworthiness of communicating change, alignment with goals, and organizational history of handling changes. The learning institution might not be able to emulate BYOD in the curriculum such that educators’ trust in the institution’s plan can diminish. Alternatively, if the school has a history of failing to implement a similar program, people will question the abilities and effectiveness of new amendments. Since change is individual such that it entails a person-to-person approach, so is the resistance. Besides, what causes resistance in one person may not be the same for another player, based on factors such as current events in life or the work environment (Burnes, 2020). Reflecting on the proposed program, people’s views might differ such that some parents may see the approach as an added burden financially.
Constant communication and clearly defining goals from organization leaders is a productive effort to tackle change resistance. Lewin’s model is a problem-solving approach. Applying this theory in the BYOD program helps guide implementation and inform what should be done to enforce or solidify transitions. Better participation towards change is achieved through engaging people in every step, and soliciting views, ideas, or perspectives. The BYOD plan accounts for effective communication with stakeholders to ensure that people are aware of why change is necessary and what role each has to play for overall success. While communicating with individuals, the leaders must go the extra step to outline roles and expectations. According to Lewin, behaviors are shaped by perception and social psychology (Cummings et al., 2016). The theory emphasizes that the school leader must take the initiative through regular meetings with parents, teachers, and students.
While addressing the source of resistance to the new plan, it is vital to consider avenues such as prevention and proactive and reactive resistance management. In preventing this, the organization has to apply intentional approaches to transition management (Burnes, 2020). In other words, the discipline of change will need to be initiated while providing the necessary resources to manage change. For example, the school may have to hire technology advisors or experts to talk to parents, students, and teachers during meetings about the benefits as well as the efficiencies of using BYOD.
Choice of Specific Implementation Actions and Strategies
Using technology in school comes with many benefits, as aforementioned. However, it is paramount to harness the value of tools such as BYOD safely; hence, choosing an implementation of technology policy was necessary to safeguard people’s rights to information exchange or sharing. The modern internet has unacceptable content for students, and the best way to keep learners safe as well as reaffirm assurance to parents is by designing policy guidelines on usage (Liao et al., 2017). Implementing an appropriate use policy (AUP) along with the BYOD program is imperative.
Another important implementation action selected central to the BYOD program is professional development. The action step will help educators become better at planning and staying organized in educational content. In relation to the program change, teachers will effectively align the new technology approach to the curriculum and help students make great use of it for better performance. Instructors are the key player in this change; therefore, they should be well prepared to facilitate the plan’s full inception and attainment of the organizational vision.
Communication strategy with stakeholders is a relevant approach because it would be an effective way to clear people’s doubts concerning the new project and gather insights on vital areas to focus on. According to Burnes (2020), a good interaction plan during a change process helps control inertia due to transition by enlightening members on how they will be affected. Communication influences people through a series of processes such as awareness, understanding, impacting acceptance and enforcing commitment.
In summary, this paper has identified that technology in a learning organization is a key area of focus that warrant change given the current innovation in the modern world. Even though there is technology in place to support the learning process, impacting student performance requires a strategic approach that will make learning more engaging. A BYOD program is the anticipated new change that will attain vital academic goals such as controlled learning.
Akeju, O., Butakov, S., & Aghili, S. (2018). Main factors and good practices for managing BYOD and IoT risks in a K-12 environment. International Journal of Internet of Things and Cyber-Assurance, 1(1), 22-39. Web.
Burnes, B. (2020). The origins of Lewin’s three-step model of change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(1), 32-59. Web.
Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. Human Relations, 69(1), 33-60. Web.
Gilbert, M. (2013). A plea for systemic change in education. On the Horizon, 21(4), 312-322. Web.
Liao, C. C., Cheng, H. N., Chang, W. C., & Chan, T. W. (2017). Supporting parental engagement in a BYOD (bring your own device) school. Journal of Computers in Education, 4(2), 107-125. Web.
Macfadyen, L. P., Dawson, S., Pardo, A., & Gaševic, D. (2014). Embracing big data in complex educational systems: The learning analytics imperative and the policy challenge. Research & Practice in Assessment, 9, 17-28. Web.