3 questions to answer before buying EdTech
Investments in EdTech can help to support teachers, build vibrant educational experiences and lighten administrative loads. But spending on EdTech, like any investment, must be targeted to meet each school’s specific goals and context.
Educators seeking to leverage the transformational impact of EdTech should consider these three questions to get the most out of their investments and supercharge their teaching.
1. What problems need to be solved?
The first thing to consider when investing in EdTech is the challenges that need to be addressed. Rather than chasing the latest trends, educators should focus on selecting reliable, efficient technology that aligns with their needs and objectives.
A school struggling with a high administrative workload, for example, would get far more out of a robust content management system than the latest interactive whiteboards. But those same interactive whiteboards might be the ideal solution for a school seeking to provide stimulating lessons that increase student engagement.
Being clear about the challenges that need to be addressed helps educators to target their EdTech investments and maximise their impact.
2. What has been proven to work?
Once challenges have been identified it's time to start shopping for solutions. Educators can target reliable brands with proven results, or they can explore innovative tech which holds real potential for their problems. Both would benefit from the wisdom of hindsight. Practical experience is the best indicator of effectiveness, so educators should seek out peers who have experienced similar challenges and used EdTech to overcome them.
Of all the actions for educators to take when investing in new technology, networking is perhaps the most fundamental. Providers will wax lyrical about the capabilities of their products, but educators with experience of utilising EdTech are a font of knowledge. They can help the uninitiated to avoid pitfalls and maximise the effectiveness of their EdTech investments.
Conducting due diligence with research and case studies is also vital for understanding the suitability of new technologies.
Real-world experience and data-driven research provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn't, enabling educators to make more informed decisions and reducing the risk of investing in technology that may not meet their institution's specific needs or expectations.
3. How will the technology be implemented?
The initial investment in EdTech is only half the story. Educators must ensure that they have the resources and the budget to implement new technology and manage it over time.
Effective implementation involves coordination with providers and IT departments to install EdTech properly. All stakeholders, from technicians to administrators, should be involved at key stages and teachers should receive adequate training to ensure that they can get the best out of technology. Students and their families should be informed about the implementation of EdTech solutions and the impact it will have on learning.
Education leaders should also expand their perspective beyond the initial implementation to consider the long-term use of EdTech. If a piece of technology goes down, for example, are teachers able to troubleshoot issues or will they need to get an IT specialist involved? Will educators be continually assessed on their ability to use the technology effectively? And will its impact be assessed with regular review periods?
Effective networking combined with robust assessments and research empowers educators to make confident choices about their EdTech investments, ultimately leading to greater adoption of technology and greater outcomes on the learning experience.
Networking for educational empowerment
We’re embedding even more connections between education professionals into the heart of our events. New for Bett 2024, TableTalks is a series of unparalleled peer-led discussions that will encourage educators to collaborate openly and connect deeply with like-minded individuals in the education sector.