Edtech Companies Are From Mars, Schools Are From Venus
Edtech companies and K-12 schools have many of the same goals.
They both want to see new technology implemented in the classroom in a way that makes the learning process more engaging for students and less labor-intensive for teachers.
So why are relationships between companies and schools often so distant, even rocky?
Here are some of the ways that edtech companies are from Mars and K-12 schools are from Venus…and how to overcome the disconnect.
They Have Different Visions
If you talk to any educator, he will tell you exactly what he needs to make his classroom more successful. But edtech companies come to the table with their own ideas about classroom solutions. Teachers will be more willing to get on board with someone who sincerely listens to educators’ “wish lists.” In the best case scenario, a company will take note of what a teacher desires to happen in her classroom and build a tool in direct response to that.
It’s Hard to Earn Teachers’ Trust
Teachers are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet! They simply don’t have time to experiment with the thousands of new apps that startups present to them every year. They are only interested in trying a tool if they have some confidence it will be successful. Edtech companies can build relationships with teachers by creating a quality educational blog, attending sessions with teachers at conferences, and engaging in conversations that show their understanding of the day-to-day struggles of teachers.
Teachers Spend More Time With Students and Parents
If an app fails, the edtech company might lose some money. But teachers stand to lose a lot more than that: the valuable trust and respect of the students and parents that they serve. Educators are deeply invested in the success of their students and will not be receptive to developers that make grandiose promises they are unlikely to keep. Edtech companies can combat this problem through honesty, transparency, and sustainability.
Companies Have Limited Understanding of Pain Points
Do not rely on a catchy name and an aggressive sales pitch to get the attention of educators. They want to know the specific ways in which your company is going to help them. Edtech developers who reveal an understanding of teachers’ pain points will earn their trust and their respect.
Edtech companies and K-12 schools come from different places, but with a little effort, they can still enjoy a harmonious relationship.