The education sector is often called out due to its difficulty to implement change – whether that is because institutions have legacy systems in place, don’t have the time it takes to adopt new technologies, or the affordability aspect. The sector needs to change its image as “stuck in the past”, but thankfully there are tangible steps it can take to get there.
To understand how the education industry as a whole can take the necessary steps forward and achieve its long-anticipated digital transformation, we first need to look at the key barriers holding it back. The DfE recently released a report outlining a review on the state and usage of EdTech in schools. It found that although education leaders believe technology either had or would better student outcomes, it was perceived to have less of an impact from a time management perspective, and does not quite meet the standard needed to support SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) students.
It’s clear that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of tech, but there are still core challenges in place that need to be addressed. “EdTech” is often pitched as making it easier to automate tasks and create the time that education staff so desperately need. However, from the DfE’s latest findings, it’s clear that there is a disconnect between the way EdTech is being talked about, and what it is delivering.
Put simply, the term “EdTech” has become a buzzword – it represents something that, quite often, education institutions can aspire to but can’t achieve because of some of the reasons outlined above. Tech organisations and PR/marketing units have a huge role to play in bridging this gap. When making “EdTech” relatable for the everyday school, college, or university, they need to remember that generally, it is not corporate tech professionals sitting at the helm of the ship making decisions about how processes can be streamlined and where to spend budget.
Senior leadership teams are too busy thinking about the day-to-day operations of running their institution, and educating students who have essentially missed out on more than a year of traditional teaching. They do not have time to sift through buzzwords or read between the lines of a tech company’s website, slowly piecing together what it all actually means. They need to be given information that is easily digestible and can understand the positive impact it will have on their students – this is dependent on the narrative and the story that is being told.
We have worked on both sides of the field – our work with schools and colleges means we understand their pain points, and our familiarity with the EdTech sector gives us an inside perspective about exactly how the tech side works, and how it can support education institutions with their long-term goals. It’s time for us to de-buzzword “EdTech” when talking about it to the education sector, and start being transparent about exactly how it can support everyone in getting what they want.
If you want to find out more about how we can help bridge the gap and bring your business into the education space, do get in touch.