5 All-Too-Common Ways Edtech Implementations Fail
On the surface, adopting technology to support teacher needs or student challenges isn’t terribly complex: define the problem you’re trying to solve, identify the right tools for the job, and implement the tools effectively and with fidelity.
challenges. End users are too often removed from the decision-making process during procurement. Educators argue that too many products don’t actually meet the needs of teachers or students. Still others worry that it is too easy to implement new and popular technology without considering whether it is research-based and effective.
Only 33 percent of parents surveyed by the Learning Assembly said their child’s school did an excellent job using technology to tailor instruction.
Technology is just a tool, not a means in and of itself. Any school or teacher that sets out to use technology for its sake alone, and not in the service of personalizing learning or addressing specific needs, is on a mission to fail.
- Insufficient Modeling of Best Practices
A survey from Samsung found that 37 percent of teachers say they would love to use technology but don’t know how, and 76 percent say they would like a professional development day dedicated to technology.
ideos that focus on scaling and modeling best practices (produced by places like the Teaching Channel and The Learning Accelerator) can help teachers and schools do this.
Teachers face initiative fatigue: They are constantly being asked to implement new programs, integrate new technologies, and add on layers of responsibility. In one Wisconsin district, nearly half of teachers felt ongoing district initiatives were a “significant area of concern.”
Forward-thinking schools take the time to learn from the challenges of other schools, and recruit a coalition of the willing.
- Real-World Usability Challenges
Relying on multiple devices (remote, clicker, iPad, computer mouse) to launch or navigate technology can be difficult. Additionally, teachers may start to use a tool, only to realize it is not flexible enough to meet their original needs, fit into the constraints of their particular school or classroom, or allow them to integrate their own content or supplemental resources.
- The Right Data to Track Progress
Lack of useful data, problem definition, weak teacher buy-in, first impressions, and usability challenges all have the potential to torpedo smart technology products.
Edtech playground: Helping teachers choose better tools
By Nicole Krueger Leadership
A virtual reality headset can take students on an immersive journey to another world. But no matter how cool it is, if that $3,000 piece of equipment enters a classroom and doesn’t provide any real instructional value, it can quickly become a very expensive paperweight.
Most schools don’t do edtech procurement really well yet. Sometimes we buy products that end up in closets because they don’t fit the instructional needs of students, and we end up not being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Located in the district’s central office, where hundreds of teachers and staff members stop by each week for professional development, the playground offers a creative space that encourages teachers to explore new tools that have been vetted and approved by the district’s tech department.
In the United States, K-12 schools spend more than $13 billion a year on edtech — often without any idea whether it will make a difference in learning outcomes.
More on ISTE in this IMS blog
more on digital literacy for ed leaders in this IMS blog
To identify bots, the Center used a tool known as “Botometer,” developed by researchers at the University of Southern California and Indiana University.
Previous studies have documented the nature and sources of tweets regarding immigration news, the ways in which news is shared via social media in a polarized Congress, the degree to which science information on social media is shared and trusted, the role of social media in the broader context of online harassment, how key social issues like race relations play out on these platforms, and the patterns of how different groups arrange themselves on Twitter.
It is important to note that bot accounts do not always clearly identify themselves as such in their profiles, and any bot classification system inevitably carries some risk of error. The Botometer system has been documented and validated in an array of academic publications, and researchers from the Center conducted a number of independent validation measures of its results.
more on fake news in this IMS blog
your quantitative method’s research instrument
How do you write survey questions that accurately measure public opinion?
Writing clear and neutral survey questions is much more difficult than it might seem. We spend *a lot* of time thinking about the phrasing and ordering of our survey questions. The second video in our Methods 101 series tackles the many ways writing survey questions can go wrong, and the steps you can take to avoid these pitfalls.
Posted by Pew Research Center on Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Chad, K., & Anderson, H. (2017). The new role of the library in teaching and learning outcomes
(p. ). Higher Education Library Technology. https://doi.org/10.13140/rg.2.2.14688.89606/1
p. 4 “Modern university libraries require remote access for large numbers of concurrent users, with fewer authentication steps and more flexible digital rights management (DRM) to satisfy student demand”. They found the most frequent problem was that core reading list titles were not available to libraries as e-books.
p. 5 Overcoming the “textbook taboo”
In the US, academic software firm bepress notes that, in response to increased student textbook costs: “Educators, institutions, and even state legislators are turning their attention toward Open Educational Resources (OER)” in order to save students money while increasing engagement and retention. As a result bepress has developed its infrastructure to host and share OER within and across institutions.21 The UMass Library Open Education Initiative estimates it has saved the institution over $1.3 million since its inception in 2011. 22 Other textbook initiatives include SUNY Open Textbooks, developed by the State University of New York Libraries, which has already published 18 textbooks, and OpenStax, developed by Rice University.
p.5. sceptics about OER rapid progress still see potential in working with publishers.
Knowledge Unlatched 23 is an example of this kind of collaboration: “We believe that by working together libraries and publishers can create a sustainable route to Open Access for scholarly books.” Groups of libraries contribute to fund publication though a crowdfunding platform. The consortium pays a fixed upfront fee for the publisher to publish the book online under a Creative Commons license.
p.6.Technology: from library systems to educational technology.The rise of the library centric reading list system
big increase in the number of universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand deploying library reading lists solutions.The online reading list can be seen as a sort of course catalogue that gives the user a (sometimes week-by-week) course/module view on core resources and provides a link to print holdings information or the electronic full text. It differs significantly from the integrated library system (ILS) ‘course reserve’ module, notably by providing access to materials beyond the items in the library catalogue. Titles can be characterised, for example as ‘recommended’ or ‘essential’ reading and citations annotated.
Reading list software brings librarians and academics together into a system where they must cooperate to be effective. Indeed some librarians claim that the reading list system is a key library tool for transforming student learning.
Higher education institutions, particularly those in Australia, New Zealand and some other parts of Europe (including the UK) are more likely to operate a reading list model, supplying students with a (sometimes long) list of recommended titles.
p.8. E-book platforms (discusses only UK)
p.9. Data: library management information to learning analytics
“Strong digital leadership is a key feature of effective educational organisations and its absence can be a significant barrier to progress. The digital agenda is therefore a leadership issue”. 48 (Rebooting learning for the digital age: What next for technology-enhanced higher education? Sarah Davies, Joel Mullan, Paul Feldman. Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Report 93. February 2017. )
A merging of LibTech and EdTech
The LITA discussion is under RE: [lita-l] Anyone Running Multiple Discovery Layers?
more on academic library in this IMS blog
Erika Johnson and Kristin E. Martin
by discovery layer, the moderators were referring to the variety of tools available to libraries that bring together article-level content, specialized databases, and the content traditionally found inside a library catalog (e.g., books and journal titles) into a single searchable index. Based on the survey, 67% of e-forum participants are using a discovery layer and 83% maintain this layer alongside the traditional catalog. During the e-forum participants identified a number of commercial systems in use at their libraries (Summon, Encore, EDS, WorldCat Discovery, Primo), as well as some customized or open-source products. Participants at some specialized and public libraries expressed opinions that discovery layers do not fit their institutional needs, either because of the lack of sophisticated searching or specialized content, or because of overemphasis on article content.
In academic libraries, discovery layers tend to be the preferred tool for undergraduates, while more advanced scholars (and some library staff) prefer the traditional library catalog for known items, additional search features, and more specialized content. Discussion about the different levels of user sophistication and varying research needs continued through the entire e-forum. One participant put the difference between searching in terms of recall versus precision. Discovery makes an ideal tool for quickly returning at least some relevant results—great for basic research—but often brings back a large number of irrelevant results in a huge set.
From a technical services perspective, discovery layers have led to changes in technical services operations.
Discovery systems are not one size fits all. Special collections librarians and consortial members shared some concerns about the way discovery systems display information.
Good Question! What is a Discovery Layer?
By Gwen Evans
Executive Director, OhioLINK Thursday, January 16, 2014 – 9:50am
a discovery layer is a Google-like search across all library resources. In library language, a discovery layer is a searchable meta-index of library resources, usually including article-level metadata, e-book metadata, metadata from library catalogs, open access resource metadata, etc., and it includes a means of retrieving resources in the result set through linking technology.
Why is a discovery layer needed for libraries?
Without a discovery layer, users have to search many separate silos of information one by one – the library catalog for books and journals, publisher sites and individual ejournals in particular subjects for articles, and other specialized databases. Even for experienced users who know which databases and resources are likely to be most relevant to their needs, this is time-consuming and involves duplicating the same search over and over in different places. For novice users, or those who want a broad, interdisciplinary search, the initial choice of resource can be daunting and frustrating, unless users already know to ask their librarians for help. In addition, every database or resource interface is different – there are many similarities, but users have to learn different procedures and strategies for each information silo. While specialized interfaces deliver a lot of power for the advanced user, sometimes they can get in the way for other kinds of tasks.
Why not just use Google or another search engine?
Many library resources are difficult to find using search engines, even if a user is savvy enough to be using Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic Search instead of regular Google or Bing. In addition, almost all online library resources, such as full-text articles and ebooks, are most decidedly not free or open access – academic libraries pay quite a bit of money for them
more on academic libraries in this IMS blog