Why Admin Features are Just as Important as Content in Edtech Posted by Transparent Language on Nov 16, 2016 in education, Language Learning, Language News, libraries, Product Recommendations, schools
When it comes to finding the right tech for your classroom, library, or organization, are you asking the right questions?
While discussing our online language learning platform with educators, librarians, and organizations, we hear a lot of questions about content and presentation: What languages do you offer? Do you have alphabet instruction? Does the platform work on tablets? Is there a mobile app? For which age levels is this content appropriate? What kinds of speaking activities do you have?
Those are all valid questions that we’re happy to answer. But when selecting edtech tools, educators and administrators should be equally concerned about the behind-the-scenes features. Educational technology isn’t just made to improve students’ learning experiences; well-designed edtech should improve an educator’s teaching experience, too. After all, tech will not replace teachers, but teachers who use tech well will replace those who do not.
Next time you’re ready to invest in a new language tool for your students, patrons, or employees, consider asking a few other questions on your behalf.
Student Management: Today’s students are digital natives, but that doesn’t mean you can send them home with an app and hope for the best. Efficient tools will make it easy for you to tell students what to do and make it easy for students to reach you in case they need help.
- Does this tool come with a tutorial or instructional overlays?
- Can I easily make and receive assignments from this tool?
- Is there a messaging system so I can contact my students and vice versa?
Reporting and Tracking: Just because students enjoy working with tech doesn’t mean they’re actually doing it. The right tool will give you oversight and insight—are your students doing the work and how well are they doing with it? This will let you know which students need extra help or motivation.
- Does this tool include usage reporting?
- Can I track my students’ activity and progress?
Training and Support: Beyond the first product demo, a representative from the company should provide you with additional training to make sure you’re taking advantage of everything the tool has to offer. And even the most intuitive technology might have the occasional hiccup, so a responsive tech support team is critical.
- Does the onboarding process include any kind of training for administrators or educators?
- How responsive and effective is the technical support team?
When you find a tool that checks all of those boxes and meets your content needs, you’ve struck edtech gold.