Greetings! I hope to bring you weekly posts that investigate topics that are both intriguing and informative, to better help your business and marketing endeavors. This week, I looked into a few areas the EdTech industry could grow and improve in, for the foreseeable future.
The Educational Technology market changes with the times, based on innovations, trends, research studies, and data. Over the years, certain advances in the capabilities of smartboards, tablets, and mobile devices have spurred market-wide changes in supply and demand. There are countless options available to optimize, collaborate, and present information. Students are also able to learn at their own pace, thanks to advances in personalized and adaptive learning technologies.
Despite the seemingly saturated market, there are ongoing areas that have become focal points for educators to find better solutions. These areas have emerged as states and policy makers set aside funding to target areas in demand, based on federal government initiatives, as well as growing bodies of research.
Career and Technical Education Innovations
Career and Technical education is an area that schools and districts wish to modernize. As future employer needs are evolving, so are the skills necessary for success, and early exposure to career requirements are in-demand. Having a good understanding of the academic path to reach those career goals is also a priority. The types of tools educators and administrators seek include:
- Assessment options to track academic/career goals.
- Exploratory tools that allow students to find potential career choices.
- Virtual reality and other immersive experiences that allow students to “try on” a job before they buy it.
- A better inclusion of STEM skills in career and technical education.
Data Collection and Services
A huge focus on the collection and proper use of data is a component in many state plans with the Every Student Succeeds Act, prompting needs in data related EdTech services. With the changing emphasis on other measures of success than testing results alone, the data schools are collecting about their students will likely grow exponentially. Data related services and consultants will see good opportunities to help schools:
- Make sense of and organize this data in a manner that aids state policymakers, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders.
- Create communication systems, and other methods of professional development for teachers.
- Offer solutions for keeping that data safe.
New tools and analytics will become necessary, as well as how to present the findings in a straightforward way.
Social Emotional Learning Tools
If you are hoping to develop curricular tools that aid in Social Emotional Learning, you will be met with many opportunities to experiment and build systems. Based on a growing body of research, as well as demand across many districts, teachers and administrators want SEL. They aren’t sure how to incorporate it into the curriculum, however. A good plan is to create products that are:
- Engaging for students, using relevant scenarios and plot points in situational learning experiences.
- Use virtual reality, or other immersive learning technology, with relevant media that allows students to learn through “direct” experience.
- Find a way to assess these experiences holistically, through the implementation of the program, and not as a separate test.
You will probably find schools eager to test these programs in the near future as they try to work out how best to utilize them.
Career and technical education, data collection and analysis, and social emotional learning, are areas that are growing and in demand, which should prompt the development of technologies that will fill in these gaps in EdTech. Developers and marketers should also focus on teacher professional development, to help them leverage these tools. They should also provide well developed options for feedback from the users themselves, in order to listen often, and listen well.