Investing in educational technology (EdTech) presents challenges on a couple of levels.
While administrators are eager to provide specific solutions to their staff, they lack data to know which solution is most impactful. Meanwhile, teachers want easy-to-use resources — a benefit that some edtech offerings lack.
Any investment in EdTech should also answer this question: How does technology help teachers save time? It becomes difficult to prioritize time management for teachers when dealing with EdTech software that has outdated user interfaces, relies on manual inputs, and has unwieldy, disparate functionality.
Modern educational tools benefit educators by offering an automated, intuitive experience that’s well-integrated and allows educators to focus on time management strategies while increasing job satisfaction and student performance.
But to truly streamline those processes, it’s essential to confront the barriers that prevent districts from fully embracing some facets of modern EdTech software.
How to Best Invest in Education Technology
School administrators must assess and potentially implement technology that helps teachers save time and improves the learning process. Still, these decision makers must overcome two major stumbling blocks when investing in educational technology that incorporates strategies to improve teacher performance:
1. Legacy Software
When school administrators look at incorporating EdTech products at their schools, they must maintain a holistic mindset. Often schools will make EdTech purchases based on one-time grant funding or budget windfall, but this means that a lot of the solutions that schools adopt aren’t implemented with integration as a top priority. This creates a situation where schools have multiple portals, logins, and software that operates in silos.
As schools look to modernize their EdTech infrastructure, it’s important to keep integration as a ‘must-have’ requirement, and make sure that the vendors they evaluate can demonstrate interoperability with the products that the schools are standardizing on for the future.
2. Using Quick, Convenient Solutions Instead of Integrated, Scalable Ones
Schools prefer to consolidate the data they need to measure student performance in a single, easy-to-use dashboard. But only 20% of EdTech software allows for easy API integration (i.e., where one software system “speaks” with another software system). Most solutions are built to solve a school’s specific need and don’t have the ability to send data to other systems, so for these products dashboard providers use a process called “scraping.”
Instead of receiving direct information from the API, these dashboard systems “hack” the information by scraping it from secondary software systems so they can present it with the rest of their data. This type of Band-Aid solution breaks frequently and often doesn’t scale to meet the needs of the school.
EdTech software that creates obstacles, adds more work for teachers, and is kept solely to protect the school from fatigue hurts the education system as a whole. Instead, admins should have a holistic mindset around purchasing purposeful technology that empowers teachers, increases their productivity, and improves student performance.
Educators work every day to get their students to realize their potential. Administrators should take that advice by investing in education technology that helps teachers save time and boost effectiveness.
At Integrate School, we are on a mission to make an effective, human-centered, high standard of modern educational tools. Interested in how these solutions contribute to effective learning time? Click here to set up a time to talk with us.