We have previously written about choosing the right technology for classrooms. From what we have learned since, we are coming up with yet another edtech blog to help teachers assess and choose the best edtech solutions for their classrooms. Given, our previous blogs was mostly focused on an institutional level, we have decided to speak directly to teachers about technology this time. It makes more sense because they are ultimately the “end users” and beneficiaries of education technology in classrooms
This blog post will help you assess and analyse the edtech tool/platform that you currently use, or the one you’re prepared to use. This will help you figure out whether if it’s really the right fit for your classroom or not.
- Function and functionality of Edtech
- Time management
- Student centricity
- Communication and accessibility
Function and functionality of Edtech
Some of the common pitfalls during selecting an edtech for classrooms is the tool/platform with the most features is often selected. This is another way of saying the selection process being biased with function instead of functionality.
Even though there’s a long list of functions, menus and modules in the brochure, take a moment and analyse what you’re signing into. See is each of those functions are really necessary or useful. Check if the functions you really need are there. Sometimes you get overwhelmed with the number of unnecessary features that you miss out on the important functionalities that you actually need.
The easiest way is to simply refrain from saying “yes” at the first encounter itself. Take some time to check each of the features and the value it brings to the table. See how helpful they actually are. Analyse their importance in your daily life. See if it truly helps you in your teaching life with useful functionalities as promised.
Time management is a no-brainer. As we have seen in every other domain before education, technology can easily make or break the working schedules with it’s potential. So even though you are opting for a tool that should save you from bundles of workload, in reality, it might only be simply transferring the workload into the digital form.
See how the tool works, or better yet, use it yourself. See if it saves time or only says so. It’s no use if your edtech platform is all about making everything digital, but you still have to do all the calculations, assessments, and analytics yourself.
Edtech not being student friendly is quite an irony. But it happens more often than you’d think. Then again, teachers chooses the tool for their convenience and features. It may or may not be a great fit for the classrooms. This is something you should definitely assess before jumping onto a choice.
See if the edtech platform also works well for the students. We need to welcome all levels of stakeholders into the system to make the most out of it. If the students hate it, the teacher might have a hard time keeping it in the loop for the long term. A huge pointer is this area is the user friendliness. Any tool that’s good enough for your students should also be easy enough to use for everyone.
Communication and accessibility
Technology that’s supposed to improve education should not be too distracting. It should blend into the teaching-learning as a regular, yet, noticeable feature of education.
As we have mentioned in our previous blogs, the modern teacher is highly collaborative. In a technology-driven, mobile-first era, communication is key. So make sure that your tools are equally equipped to share your data with other teachers, engage with the students, and provide meaningful feedback to yourself from time-to-time.
Not having it in your reach at the time of need is also a deal-breaker. With everything’s available online, why shouldn’t the edtech be. The modern teacher and students of the 21st century education move fast and they need their education available. A technology platform that does not allow you to access academics of education at the time of need is bad news.
We got these edtech pointers for teachers from our discussions with teachers and academic experts over time. If you have anything new to bring to the table, or an opinion about these pointers, joins us in the comment section and we can have a meaningful conversation.
Linways exists to improve the way the world is learning. Our Academic Management System helps teachers to simplify daily academic activities, improve student engagement, and easily blend academics and administration. It’s highly user friendly and helps to implement advanced rubrics, learning theories, and student-centric learning.
Check out our other blogs on education, teaching, learning and quality improvement in education before you leave.
Also published on Medium.