What Education Leaders Look for in Edtech Product Validation
A lot of considerations go into building an edtech product. The best edtech products utilize adaptive branching, engage students, and collect learning data. That requires you to understand how the brain learns and retains information,
As you construct your product, you’re also going to need education leaders to validate the tools they use. Here’s what they look for in edtech product validation.
You have to understand education
For education leaders to endorse your edtech product, they want to know that you understand their business. That means learning more than just the alphabet soup of education acronyms; you must understand the challenges educators face.
You must be aware of current trends and research, and education leaders want you to see how instruction works in the classroom, but there’s more to education. The budgeting and purchasing processes are much slower in the education field than in business, and working with educators means being patient while waiting for approval.
Popular does not mean productive
Time on task is a real concern in classrooms where teachers have only 180 days of instructional time with their students. Also, the students must be engaged in their learning, and teachers must verify that their students have reached their learning objectives for the year. Edtech can help with that instruction and with keeping students engaged.
Some of the most popular edtech products have high engagement levels.
Unfortunately, product popularity does not make edtech productive. For an edtech product to be productive – and become validated – you must prove that you can gather relevant data and present it in ways that will help teachers improve instruction and certify learning.
According to Stuart Patton, co-founder at Polkuni, there must be “a very strong pedagogical platform that goes beyond anything you could deliver from a book, or any other traditional way of delivering content; otherwise, you’re not being effective with the technology.” Edtech for the sake of entertainment is not the same thing as instructional edtech.
The validation of your edtech product requires a strong instructional focus.
Stop selling edtech products
Once you make your edtech product about solving a problem rather than making a sale, you’ll find teachers willing to field test your solution. If it’s effective, they’ll endorse it at the grassroots level. These are the education leaders you want helping you validate your product because they’ll talk about how your product helped them.
Twentieth-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright maintained that “form follows function,” meaning that his buildings developed according to how people lived. Education leaders are looking for edtech products that have been conceived as a solution to classroom challenges.