5 All-Too-Common Ways Edtech Implementations Fail
Chris Liang-Vergara and Kerry Gallagher (Columnist) Apr 6, 2017
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.
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.
implementations should start with the “why” and then address the “how.” Trainings should first model the best pedagogical approach, and how technology fits into this approach to support a learning objective. How to effectively use and troubleshoot the tool itself is also important, but it’s not the only factor.
How teachers integrate technology into their own teaching practices can have a dramatic impact on the results, even when they’re all using the same edtech tool. Videos 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.
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
Sometimes tech implementations fail because the products themselves don’t have the right depth of data for teachers or a workable interface. And sometimes they fail when eager IT directors lock down hardware and networks for security purposes in a way that makes the tool far less valuable for instructors.