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  1. Make a plan. Plan for instruction first, then decide what technology is needed to support instruction, assessment, and student creativity.
  2. Remember the big picture. Align your plan with school or district instructional and technology goals to keep stakeholders on board.
  3. Consult an expert. Reach out to your district's technology expert, a teacher from another school, or a peer mentor for their advice and perspective.
  4. Collaborate. Work with other educators to share resources and solicit feedback on purchasing decisions.
  5. Ask questions. Get options and estimates from multiple vendors and other professionals. These varied viewpoints should guide you toward what you really need.
  6. Use what you already have. Take inventory of the equipment, software, and infrastructure you already have access to. Ensure that the purchases you do make are compatible with the technology you use regularly.
  7. Prioritize accessibility. Consider whether student access to the technology outside of school is an important piece of your instructional plan. If so, opt for cloud-based software solutions rather than locally-installed programs.
  8. Get training. Ensure that you are using software and equipment to its fullest potential by reading manuals, attending in-person or online trainings, or signing up for professional development.
  9. Shop smart. Ask your business administrator about purchasing cooperatives. Many county and state educational agencies sponsor cooperatives that can help bring down costs or provide rebates.
  10. Start small. Begin by implementing one or two ideas at a time. By making small, meaningful changes, you can significantly impact student learning without feeling overwhelmed.

About the Author Marjorie LoPresti is the Digital Content Manager for MusicFirst. She has over twenty-five years’ experience teaching elementary and secondary general & vocal music, piano, music technology, music theory, and composition.

Marjorie was a pioneer in the use of technology to support music instruction, assessment, and creativity in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. A frequent workshop presenter, she leads technology sessions for musicians and for the wider educational community. She has extensive experience in curriculum development, instructional design, and standards-based assessment.

She holds a Bachelor of Music and an M.S. in Educational Technology, serves as NJMEA Technology Chair, and is honored to have been named NJMEA Master Music Teacher and TI:ME Music Technology Teacher of the Year.