How K-12 Schools Evaluate Edtech Products
Does your edtech product make the grade?
To find out, you need to know how K-12 schools evaluate edtech products. Ask yourself these questions to figure out how to meet educators’ educational technology expectations.
For whom is your product designed?
If your edtech product is for teachers, it will have a different feel than if it’s for kids. Either is fine, but make sure the design is user-appropriate. Teachers don’t like being talked down to, and students need a kid-friendly interface.
Which curriculum standards does your product meet?
The public holds teachers and their administrators accountable for student results on high-stakes assessments each year. To produce these results, educators seek out products most closely aligned to their curriculum standards. Your product must help them align curriculum, instruction, and assessment to achieve the end goal: student achievement.
Is there a demo for that?
Teachers like to test drive their classroom products before committing their purchase, and your edtech product is no different. If you can offer a demo, or even a short trial period, you can at least get your foot in the door and your products in the hands of teachers and their students.
Is your product comparable to something else on the market?
Part of the learning process involves activating prior knowledge and comparing something new to what the learner already knows. Teachers use this instructional technique all the time in the classroom. They also apply it in their professional workspace when it comes to reviewing new edtech products.
Educators want to know how your product compares to the ones they are already using.
How well will you protect student confidentiality and maintain their privacy?
Federal and state laws mandate the safeguarding of student confidentiality at all times, and teachers take this requirement seriously. Your edtech product must meet rigorous standards for masking identifiable student data.
What about kids in special education and ESL?
Teachers recognize that there is no one-size fits all approach to instruction, and so should you. Classrooms today are highly diversified, with multiple abilities, learning differences, and needs.
Help teachers see how your edtech product can assist high-need students, and you will win a place in the classroom.
How much does this cost?
Sometimes, it comes down to price, especially because budgets shrink each year even though expectations keep rising. Be up front about the cost of your edtech product, and talk about per pupil cost.
By knowing how well you meet the expectations of educators, you’ll know where you stand in the edtech evaluation game.