The 4 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Evaluating & Implementing Careers Education Software
Choosing a new software is the first step towards effecting change in your school or college. In choosing a careers education and future readiness solution, like Xello, you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of students – creating a positive vision for their future, fostering engagement in the classroom, and helping to build the social-emotional skills that help them navigate their careers.
Many schools struggle to effectively make use of edtech software purchased with the best intentions. In many cases, neither students, nor educators reap the full benefits of these programs. With the pressures on time, budgets, and resources, it’s more important than ever that you’re getting full value from the programs you’re investing in.
Over the years, we’ve learned from the thousands of schools and colleges we’ve worked with what it takes to be successful in launching edtech software, like Xello.
First and foremost, it’s about bringing people together and working towards a shared vision for your students. It means looking at how things are now and what you want them to be. This can be – and to an extent must be – disruptive.
Disruptive does not have to be scary. In fact, schools and colleges that take the purchase of a new software as an opportunity to organise and align their programs, processes, and people are setting themselves up for long-term success. And, if you’re looking to do this for your own school or college, set yourself up for success by asking these questions:
1. What do I want to get out of my careers education and future-readiness program?
To know what careers education success looks like in your school or college, you need to think ahead – say 3 to 5 years from now. What impact do you want your program to have on your school or college?
What does it look like for students? For educators? For yourself? And, once you’ve thought about your goals in the long term, can you rewind to think about where you’ll need to be a year from now in order to get there?
These aren’t easy questions, but if you’re already engaging a partner to help you achieve your goals, you’ll likely have an idea. If your prospective partners are thorough, this will have come up in a needs analysis early on.
By the time you’re on your way to launch, these goals will have more shape and, with Xello, we focus on turning them into SMART goals during your implementation process.
But the creation of goals must also consider the current state, which is why we recommend you ask yourself:
2. How does (or will) this software fit into my existing careers programme?
We understand that Xello might be a part of your larger careers programme and, as such, it needs to fit within the ecosystem of other future-readiness activities. Start by taking an inventory of those activities across your school or college and across all year groups. Then, to truly understand how Xello can help, you’ll need a solid understanding of the product.
Our introductory videos and recorded training sessions will get you off on the right foot. Consider how Xello can complement your current careers programme and initiatives and what will change once Xello is rolled out?
Understanding the lay of the land can help you anticipate points of friction and areas of opportunity for Xello. And, by engaging with the people who are delivering those activities, you’re forming a team who will likely become a part of your Xello implementation – whose buy-in will be critical for student adoption.
3. How can this careers education and future-readiness software help my school or college achieve our learning objectives?
We believe careers education and future readiness software should be more than completing tasks and checking boxes; it should be a student-focused experience that guides them to develop their skills and knowledge. Xello’s lessons provide the interactive instruction needed to engage students, based on the critical learning objectives you require, complete with in-app prerequisites.
Your Xello lesson sequence – that is, the year by year lesson requirements that form your digital careers curriculum – is the foundation of your Xello implementation. It communicates to both students and teachers what the expectations are with Xello and provides powerful reporting to see who’s on track and who may need more support. So, it’s critical that your school or college’s lesson sequence reflects your goals with the product. And, for anything not covered, you can always build your own with Xello custom lessons. If students have to do it, create a lesson for it!
If you aren’t sure where to get started, Xello’s Scope & Sequence outlines year-by-year recommendations for lessons and supporting activities for students.
So now that you know lessons are the pillar to any Xello implementation and how you’ll be able to achieve your goals, including meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks, you’re probably wondering:
4. How will I effectively engage colleagues in my school or college with the launch of this careers education software?
This question is arguably the most critical question to answer for any edtech software implementation. Setting administrative direction is one thing, bringing that to life in a classroom is something else.
That’s why we recommend including a few roles into your educator engagement planning process, such as SLT sponsor, curriculum leader, IT specialist. They can generate ideas and creative ways to reach their peers, while advising on roadblocks to avoid or lessons learned from previous rollouts.
By thinking through what is needed to successfully launch, you can begin to create your very own engagement roadmap. Those schools and colleges that are most successful are those that adopt a culture shift of making future-readiness a priority.
If you’re considering a partner to support your careers education and future-readiness goals, fill out this form for a personalised consultation.