Last Updated on December 12, 2017
What is edtech and how can you determine what sorts of technology are right for your students? This is a question we receive often from educators and parents looking to determine what sorts of modern and digital resources are available to them to enhance their students’ learning. To get answers to this and more, follow our latest series #edtech101 to explore the fundamentals of edtech.
Before diving into the vast waters of the edtech world, make sure that you go in with a strategy to not only stay afloat, but successfully swim the to finish line with the edtech solution that will bring the best results for your classroom and students. With technology that fulfills learning needs and gaps of all shapes and sizes, it is important to come up with an action plan that helps you assess the effectiveness of edtech solutions for your specific class and school.
Whether you are looking to increase student engagement, more effectively track student progress, make learning processes more efficient, or any of the other areas that edtech can help you improve, the right education technology can help classroom and student performance skyrocket. To help you find the perfect education technology fit for your classroom, here are three things to keep in mind.
1. Identify specific teaching needs.
At the core of an educator’s work is figuring out exactly how to deliver the most effective type of education and knowledge to the student. And of course, just as the learning process is different from student so student, so are the best education technology fits from classroom to classroom. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong understanding of the engagement gap you are trying to fill or the learning you are seeking to enhance.
2. Cast a wide net.
Establishing a clear strategy, coupled with casting a wide net, will ensure success when searching for the perfect edtech solution for you. Although it is important to go in with a strategic approach to find a tailored solution for your classroom and teaching needs, it’s important to keep an open mind when exploring for new solutions. Why? Because different tools have different features that you may overlook if narrowing your search scope, and features that may be extremely beneficial for your class specifically.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something, anything.
Educational changemaker and Scarsdale High School teacher Lisa Yokana said it best: “Problems are so big now that it’s really easy to be overwhelmed and think, ‘I can’t make a difference. I can’t do anything.’ Just try something, something little. Because even with a complex system, if you change one little thing, you’ll see a result. Don’t be afraid to just try something. If it fails, it fails. You’ve learned something.”
In order to create learning momentum and transform learning, we must start somewhere. And to get started may mean leaving the comfort of traditional teaching models to affect true teaching impact. So, it is best to follow the advice that the best educators and mentors share with their students: don’t be afraid to try. The worst case scenario? You realize that the technology you’re using isn’t for you, but then you can go back to the drawing board, with an even better understanding of what may work better for you (because you’ve already ruled out what doesn’t work).
Example: Searching for an Edtech Tool to Increase Student Engagement
As an example, let us explore a school that is specifically looking to increase student engagement. In this school, while students are performing fine, they are missing that something that would take their learning to the next level and bring the “wow” factor to keep students engaged. Whether it is due to the material within the required curriculum, the attention spans of each student, or a combination of both, keeping students engaged during the learning process is a challenge that many educators face.
Here’s what the search for the perfect edtech solution would look like for a school on this journey:
Identify specific needs: To assess student learning needs in this case or any of the other areas of education engagement, keep track of not only the grades on paper but also how many questions students are asking in the classroom and how thoughtful their questions are. The key is to identify the specific areas for improvement so that when you begin exploring for potential tools to help you fill the gaps, you can easily see the effectiveness of the tool.
Cast a wide net: A blanket search for “student engagement tools” will surface up various lists of top tools that are trending amongst educators. Compile a list of each tool you find, and create a comprehensive list of the features that each platform provides. For example, you may be interested in a tool that gives you hard metrics on student engagement, one that lets you make the assignment completion process more engaging, or another that introduces new elements into the teaching and learning journey.
Don’t be afraid to try something: Finally, pick one and go for it! At the end of the day, it’s easy to get swept up in the wave of the trending edtech solutions, but it is important to remember the ultimate of objective of education technology: to make teaching and learning more effective for your students. And it is completely in your power to make it happen.
Drive Student Success with Education Technology
With all the benefits that come from using education technology in your classroom, are you ready to give it a shot? We have just the tools for you. At 100mentors our goal is to provide you with innovative education technology to enable you to build inspiration-driven curriculum, by bringing real-life role models from the to connect with your students, helping them to make more well-informed decisions on the road ahead. For parents and teachers of middle and high school students looking to actively prepare their students for the workplace of the future, 100mentors is here to connect your students to 2000+ mentors from across the world. Unlock the power of education technology to engage, inspire, and prepare students for true success.