New educational technology has transformed learning and helped save educators’ and students’ time through customized functionality. It also increases efficacy and, like other technologies, provides convenience.
According to a report by EdWeek, 81% of educators in the United States said that the use of EdTech improved their system and communication with students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, 93% of US teachers stated that they were able to conduct some of their online teachings from home efficiently due to EdTech.
These statistics only show how impactful EdTech solutions are in the current educational system. However, implementing education technology in your school requires thorough preparation and planning. You need to set goals and ensure that your software guarantees the best return on your investments.
Things to Consider Before Choosing EdTech Solutions
Wondering how to use technology in education? Make the selection process simple by considering these factors:
When selecting technology for online teaching, make sure it’s accessible anywhere. Online textbooks have increasingly become the standard of education, and students access their assignments on laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. Some schools also provide electronic devices and a capable wi-fi network to their students.
Similarly, educators need software that enables them to easily log in to the app and create interactive lesson plans. Whether they’re teaching online from home or in a working space, the key is to have a flexible and accessible EdTech solution.
The thing with cloud-based or online solutions is that they work only when there’s a stable internet connection. However, the best tools nowadays can ensure the technology is optimized to work on any connection speed, especially in remote areas where cellular performance is relatively low. This way, learning isn’t interrupted and is truly accessible.
2. Alignment with Student Learning Goals and Standards
Student learning goals and standards are two of the most important factors that should belong to the technology checklist for teachers. As much as you want to invest in the newest and most modern technology, learning support and enhanced instructional methods still remain more important.
When choosing new technology for your school, ask yourself: will this align with my academic standards? Will it support an individualized curriculum necessary for my students’ range of needs? You also need to look for software that can enhance your students’ learning process across multiple subjects.
For example, social studies classes should be able to incorporate a virtual historical field trip in their curriculum through the software, and science teaching departments can immerse students in a virtual solar system for a more realistic experience. Furthermore, an app that enables a 360-degree view of properties and infrastructures can be helpful to engineering classes.
In fact, the eLearning sector is already gearing up for the metaverse by incorporating VR and AR technologies in eLearning solutions. Students can enjoy learning more in a virtual space where they can write notes, play games, and interact. It would also offer better illustrations for teachers to their students in demonstrating lessons to enhance mathematical and scientific studies, among others.
3. Powerful Feature Set
Once you’ve outlined your academic goals and standards, you can now list down the features that will make your learning management system (LMS) or EdTech solution a powerful set. Some of the key features you can include in an LMS software checklist are:
- Scheduled and customized surveys to gather insights about your students’ performance and well-being
- Real-time communication channels to make learning more engaging
- Permissions and approvals to streamline leave requests
- Workflows and form builders to automate the gathering of information, improve multi-stakeholder processes, and maintain accurate record-keeping
- Checkpoint solutions to enable students to log in/out via a swipe card, an iPad kiosk, or other checkpoint tiles
- Events feature to provide visibility of all school activities and keep your students updated even when studying from home
4. Data Feedback
Data feedback is essential for educators to keep the loop open for students and adjust to their needs in real-time. With the right selection of educational technology, settings like links to the text, multiple attempts on problems, and right/wrong indicators can be controlled and monitored by the teacher. Other valuable metrics also include the time spent by the student on homework and the access date for the assignment.
All these data and statistics will verify the students’ level of understanding of a project or assignment. In return, instructors can better assess and help the struggling ones and provide necessary intervention and remediation.
5. Student Data Privacy and Protection
Data privacy and protection are two of the major concerns for any online activity. With the ever-expanding role of education technology, schools must ensure the efficacy and security of student data.
For one, school administrators should look for EdTech software that provides clear information on its privacy policies or with an ISO certification. They should also deploy a solution with enhanced data security and easier disaster recovery. Lastly, there should be a restricted access feature and permissions for different users to protect students’ privacy.
6. Integrations and Customizations
To efficiently automate your internal and educational processes, your system should have valuable integrations and customizations. It will help you provide a consistent experience to students and improve productivity.
Some of the things that instructors can customize and integrate into their EdTech solutions are:
- Late policies
- Deduction of points for overdue assignments
- Enriched student profiles
- Visualization of large sets of student engagement data
- Automation of workflows that require multiple data sources
Invest in the Most Suitable EdTech Solution
As revealed by HolonIQ statistics, education technology is growing at 16.3% and is expected to reach $7.3 trillion by 2025. EdTech is also expected to have a CAGR of 18.1% year-over-year through 2027.
The world is going digital, and the best we can do is adapt to changes and use them to our advantage. If you want a way to improve your education system, now is the right time to invest in an EdTech solution.