What Types of Product Testimonials Influence K-12 Educators?
Let’s face it, selling is not easy. And selling technological solutions to non-technical clients like teachers is even more difficult.
One tip for EdTech entrepreneurs is not to focus on the IT aspect of your EdTech solution. The vast majority of people who are not trained in IT or computer science simply don’t care about the ins and outs of the technology behind the solution you are trying to sell to them.
What makes selling education technology so difficult is teachers’ bias against technology. Over the years, they simply have not experienced the time-saving promise of technology in education. In fact, many experience the introduction of technology in the classroom as an added responsibility they have to find time for.
What’s more, teachers are not convinced that technology benefits learning. A recent study found that students don’t use technology for learning – 63% of students aren’t using technology to solve problems, conduct research, or to create original work. Anybody trying to sell an EdTech solution to a school must be aware of these findings and must be able to convince teachers of the efficacy of their product.
Innovators in the EdTech industry would be well advised not to come at teachers with a solution that has left them out of the solution-finding process. If you want to sell successfully to teachers, show them that you have included their input in your service or product. After all, they are the people who are doing the education, they know the shortcomings of the current system and what their students are struggling with. They know their own and their students’ pain points.
Also, you will find it hard to sell a solution that reduces the teacher to a mere facilitator. For the most part, teaching is a calling. People go into teaching because they are interested in the academic and personal development of young people. Technology can never replace a competent and caring teacher who is passionate about her students’ learning. EdTech entrepreneurs must realize that the teacher can’t be replaced by algorithms, data analytics or devices. Teachers themselves must see that they are recognized as central to their students’ success and that they are not just there to facilitate the use of technology.
It is obvious that innovators in education must demonstrate value. Teachers and schools want to see real data that demonstrates the value they would be getting from a product or service. Innovators must come armed with facts and figures of how their technology benefits teaching and learning. The best way to achieve this is through testimonials of satisfied customers. Real-life examples of how the tech works are needed. Promises won’t do.
This point reiterates the value of close collaboration between innovators, administrators, and educators, which would reveal what changes are needed and how to measure them.
Word-of-mouth in the form of personal recommendations from other teachers and schools that have implemented the technology is still the best way to instil confidence. Innovators must do everything possible to provide a product that has experientially been proven to benefit teaching and learning so teachers and schools can have confidence in the promise of the technology.