There are certain ideas in educational technology integration that are essential and therefore should be embraced by any school that pursues it. What these actually look like will and should vary from school to school as each school must decide what its priorities and goals are.

1) An umbrella approach, including the use of a common Learning Management System (LMS) - an LMS is how a teacher communicates with students in a regular fashion for the entire duration of a course. Assignments are posted there daily, materials can be distributed there, students may be able to submit work via the LMS, discussions can take place there, etc.

2) Course websites - content management systems (CMS) - A good CMS lets students find all manner of useful materials directly relevant to the course, and if done well can help them pursue their learning independently. A good course website grows with every iteration of the course, and can eventually replace the textbook. It can also be quickly and easily updated and adapted to changes in curriculum, structure, etc.

3) An online professional development (PD) hub to facilitate ongoing learning by teachers - there is so much for teachers to learn, whether in technology or pedagogy or content, that it behooves schools to create an easily accessible hub where teachers can find all the information they need to continue learning and grow their practice. This may include a book list (and preferably hard copies in the library to accompany the list); online tutorial links; conferences information/resources; tech ideas/suggestion/instructions; FAQ of common problems/resolutions; Copyright and Fair Use information; PLN resources; FAQ based on all asked and answered questions; Internal social network; etc.

4) Ongoing, regular, professional development opportunities.

5) An overriding curriculum, embedded in the school’s academic curriculum, that ensures students graduate with certain technology capabilities; call it digital citizenship. If you want your students to be able to do X, Y and Z by the time they graduate - give good presentations, for example - these skills have to be embedded in the coursework they are going to go through.

6) Digital equity: it is essential that all students have access to the tools they need, whether that is an iPad or a computer or high speed wifi. The school should spearhead this effort, checking the circumstances of each student, and then helping to rectify any inequities to the extent possible. And while you may believe there are no digital equity issues at your school, the chances are quite good that a good survey will reveal some.

7) Exemplars - the most meaningful examples of great work are those that students create, and sharing those examples with other students gives them a clear, meaningful, attainable model. This can be done easily via the CMS.

There are additional elements of a good program - ePortfolios for all students, for example - but these are the essentials and a good starting point. Is a technology integrator - someone whose primary role is helping and coaching and training teachers - essential? Probably, though this will also depend on the school. A smaller school, for example, with an IT director who is also an educator, may not need one, while a larger school most likely will.