You might think that a school would always need a School license and a district would always need a District license. While that may be true in most cases, experience has taught us that our clients often use TIM Tools in ways that we never anticipated, so it’s frequently valuable to take a moment to consider how a new client is intending to use TIM Tools before deciding whether to go with a School or a District version.
First, what’s the same? Both the School and the District licenses provide identical access to the TUPS, TIM-O, TIM-R, TIM-LP, ARTI, the Survey Tool, and the new TIM-C coaching tool.
What’s different? Really only one thing:
• A school license assumes that all teachers are part of a single unit. There’s no assigning of teachers to particular schools. And any administrative rights apply to the entire instance.
• A district license assumes that your teachers are not all assigned to the same school. Therefore, there is a need for a more complex administrative structure. A school principal might have administrative rights over his or her own school, but not other schools. A zone or area leader might have administrative rights over a particular group of schools. And a central district leader will have rights over the entire system. This allows a client to assign administrative rights to match just about any organizational structure.
So which to choose? Let’s start with the easy scenarios.
1. You’re a single school. Although you might have several campuses, you consider all your teachers to be part of the same faculty and you treat them as such. This one’s easy—you should license the School version.
2. You’re a school district with multiple schools. You want school-based leaders to have administrative rights regarding their own school members. You also want district-level reporting and administration. That’s also easy—you should license the District version.
Those first two scenarios are what we had in mind when we originally designed TIM Tools. Little did we know that the Tools would be used in so may unexpected ways. Here are a dozen more scenarios.
3. You’re a single school with multiple campuses or your faculty is administratively grouped by grade level (e.g., lower, middle, and upper schools). If you really want to assign administrative functions over various groups, then you’ll need the District version.
4. You’re a single school with multiple campuses or your faculty is grouped by grade level (e.g. lower, middle, and upper schools). You TIM Tools instance will be administered centrally for the entire faculty. You could use the District version and create three separate “schools” for your faculty, but it would be simpler to license the School version and then create three “teacher” roles (lower school teacher, middle school teacher, and upper school teacher). The central administrator could then create individual school reporting or over-all reporting as desired. See Rockin’ Roles in TIM Tools 6.0.
5. You’re a school district and you want to try out TIM Tools as a pilot program in a single school. The School license will work just fine. When you decide you would like to roll out TIM Tools to multiple schools later, you can upgrade to the District version and all your existing data from the pilot program will transfer over automatically.
6. You’re a school district and you want to use TIM Tools for evaluation of a grant project. If it’s a large project and you want to assign administrative rights over various groupings of teachers, you would need a District license. However, in many cases a School license will work just fine even though your participating teachers might be located across multiple school sites. You would use the roles function to assign teachers to various treatment groups. See Leveraging TIM Tools Roles for Research and Evaluation.
7. You’re a consulting agency and you want to use TIM Tools with multiple clients. If your clients are exceptionally large districts (particularly if they are large enough that they have their schools grouped into various areas or zones for administrative purposes) then you should obtain a District license for each large client. In most cases, however, you can license a single District instance of TIM Tools and then use the “zones” function to create separate areas for each district to function in. You can give each district as many administrative rights as you wish over their own schools, but you maintain administrative rights over the entire instance and have access to all reporting. Just about any division of administrative rights is possible. You might want, for example, to give each district the authority to manage their own membership (add, subtract, or re-assign teachers for example), but keep reporting rights for yourself and then incorporate the TIM Tools reporting into your own reporting and recommendations for each client. See Regional Agencies, Associations, Consultants, and Others Who Manage TIM Tools on Behalf of Others.
8. You’re an individual researcher who wants to use TIM Tools as a part of your work. In most cases, a single School version will be adequate. Just about every doc student who has used TIM Tools for research was able to use a School version.
9. You’re a university and you want to make TIM Tools available to your doc students or those in research classes. The District version will allow you to create schools or zones for individual students to administer in their research. Each student can have his or her own “school” to work with. All the schools of students in a particular class or working with a particular advisor can be grouped into a zone with the professor or advisor having administrative rights over the component schools. See TIM Tools 6.0 in Higher Ed.
10. You’re a university and you want to make TIM Tools available in your teacher preparation program. A single District version will provide observation and action research tools to all your students and allow professors to administer TIM Tools for individual “schools” created for each of their classes. See TIM Tools 6.0 in Higher Ed.
11. You’re an association of schools and want to provide TIM Tools as a perk of membership. One District license is all you need to give each TIM Tools access at a significant savings over the purchase of individual licenses for each member school. Create a school within TIM Tools for each school and assign admin rights for that school to school leadership. You’ll still have access to association-wide data as the super administrator for the entire TIM Tools instance. If members are school districts, then group each district’s schools into a zone and give each district admin rights over their own zone. See Regional Agencies, Associations, Consultants, and Others Who Manage TIM Tools on Behalf of Others.
12. You’re a school system or ministry of education outside the United States with your own unique structure. A District version can be configured to match your existing structure and roles. See Using TIM Tools around the World.
13. You’re a granting agency and you want to use TIM Tools to monitor and evaluate projects you fund. A single District license will allow you to create a school or a zone of schools for each grant recipient. You’ll also be able to create custom surveys to collect additional data from members across all your sites. If you do happen to have a huge recipient district that has hundreds of schools and administers them by zone, then you would need a separate District license for that district. See Regional Agencies, Associations, Consultants, and Others Who Manage TIM Tools on Behalf of Others
14. You’re a vendor and you want to use TIM Tools to drive PD or track success of an initiative. A single District license allows you to create a school or a zone of schools for each customer. As noted above, if a customer is a particularly large and complex district, you would do well to obtain an individual District license just for them. See Regional Agencies, Associations, Consultants, and Others Who Manage TIM Tools on Behalf of Others
Have we missed your scenario? Please contact us to discuss your needs!
Roy Winkelman is a 40+ year veteran teacher of students from every level kindergarten through graduate school. As the former Director of FCIT, he began the Center's focus on providing students with rich content collections from which to build their understanding. When not glued to his keyboard, Dr. Winkelman can usually be found puttering around his tomato garden in Pittsburgh.