There are literally thousands of EdTech solutions on the market and each caters to different needs. From a learning perspective, that’s good news; it’s a reasonable reflection of what students will experience in the workplace when their formal education ends. But from a technical perspective, having such a wide variety of solutions to choose from can be a bit of a headache.
To ease the burden a little, we’ve developed the following seven tips for choosing the right EdTech platform.
It’s easy to fall in love with a shiny front-end that has educators and administrators cooing over their morning coffee, but all that functionality shouldn’t come at the expense of system stability and ease of integration.
Quite simply, the more applications the school uses, the more complexity there will be in the background. To present your users with a sleek and intuitive front-end, you’ll need to find products that work well with others—whether that’s as a result of partnerships, technical integrations, or just plain out-of-the-box functionality.
These days, the requirement is not just for a platform that connects classrooms, it’s for a solution that ensures lessons and information can be accessed around the clock. For this to happen, the right infrastructure needs to be in place. Each class needs a fast and reliable internet connection and users need to be able to access the tools that bring learning to life—whenever they need to.
The network and the various programs running across it need to be reliable. If a program crashes or only works intermittently, teachers or other end-users will soon stop using it. In today’s network, it’s becoming more and more common for tools like AI to be used across the network to identify issues before they occur. This obviously improves reliability but also maximizes efficiency.
Cybercrime is rife—three-quarters of US organizations now say they have fallen victim to a successful phishing attack and there were more ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021 than in the whole of the previous year. In the education sector, cyberattacks on higher-education institutions have already exposed more than a million identities, which means there is a significant risk that confidential student records can be accessed.
While there are similarities in the type of technologies used by schools and businesses, there are stark contrasts in the way they are used. Trying to shoehorn technology that was designed for use by consumers into the perfect solution for the classroom may well prove to be a mistake.
Some products are designed for IT administrators, some are designed for use by teachers, and some for students. For each, there should be a defined user experience that delivers the value each expects.
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