The Top 5 Challenges in Edtech
The need for reliable support services has become glaringly apparent as digital learning platforms increase in popularity.
The benefits of educational technology, also known as edtech, have been surfacing for decades. By 2013, 92% of educators believed that the internet played a major part in their ability to access critical resources and materials for their students. Since then, digital tools like laptops, tablets, and advanced educational software have become increasingly integrated into school systems.
The more educators incorporate these tools into their daily lesson plans, the more they agree — technology isn’t a distraction, but a way to create more engaging, interactive, and collaborative lesson plans. The benefits of technology have proven especially valuable in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as teachers race to ensure all students receive the high-quality education they need and deserve.
But while the benefits of edtech are endless, integrating new platforms and solutions comes with its fair share of challenges. Here are five of the most common roadblocks educators face as they attempt to keep pace with the digital era:
1. Platform Selection
Edtech is a crowded market and becoming even more so as demand evolves. With so many platforms to choose from — and more coming on the market each day — many administrators are struggling to find the right hardware and software for their district.
When examining their options, district administrators are encouraged to keep their budgets, bandwidth requirements, and unique goals in mind. How much can they afford to spend? What technologies are they currently using, and what do they hope to achieve through the purchase of new solutions? By asking these questions and surveying teachers, district leaders are better equipped to select the tools they need to enhance their students’ education.
2. Poor End-User Training
To ensure new technologies are positioned for long-term success, comprehensive end-user training is a must. In Sprint’s State of Education Technology report, 86% of the district officials, principals, and educators surveyed agreed that teachers in their district need more training in educational technology. The report also found that 41% of respondents believed their districts failed to identify how teachers can use edtech effectively within their curriculums.
Teachers and staff must be empowered with comprehensive technical training in the early phases of edtech adoption. This type of training will ensure they’re equipped with the confidence and skills they need to effectively deploy new solutions and reap the benefits of these investments.
3. Failure to Adopt
While many teachers firmly believe in the value of edtech, more than 40% struggle to adopt new technologies. This resistance inhibits their ability to maximize technology platforms and provide their students with the digital experiences they crave and, in many cases, expect.
To support their educators through the adoption process, administrators must provide comprehensive end-user training as well as robust technical support. A trusted, responsive IT support team helps ensure teachers, parents, and students have a go-to source for any questions or concerns that arise.
4. Inadequate Planning
Before deploying new solutions, district administrators must work in partnership with their IT teams to evaluate their licensing requirements, storage capacity, and bandwidth needs. When leaders fail to consider these factors, they may experience a strain on their existing systems or, worse, complete implementation failure.
5. Data Privacy
As edtech’s popularity increases, so do concerns over data privacy. Parents and teachers are wondering — when does the surveillance of students’ online activities begin and when does it end? What data is being collected, and are there privacy measures in place? Districts preparing for edtech deployments must work with their vendors to ensure their services are compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and all other applicable privacy standards.
The Edtech IT Support Solution
School districts seeking to adopt new solutions can’t go it alone — they need a partner to guide them. That’s where Epiphany comes in.
At Epiphany, we understand that identifying and deploying best-fit edtech solutions can be challenging. That’s why we provide comprehensive remote user training sessions and efficient, 24/7 IT support services for educators, students, and parents. Many of our onshore support staff have backgrounds in education, making them uniquely equipped to guide education stakeholders through the training process. So whether you’re experiencing a remote learning roadblock or having issues with a new tech deployment, our team is ready and waiting to get you back online. Contact us today to learn more.