Education Technology Companies are from Mars, Schools are from Venus
Education technology companies and K-12 schools have many of the same goals. They want to see new technology implemented in the classroom to make the learning process more engaging for learners and less labor-intensive for educators.
So why are relationships among companies and schools often so distant? Here are some ways that education technology companies are from Mars and K-12 school districts are from Venus, and how to overcome the disconnect.
They Have Competing Visions and Missions
If you talk to any educator, they will tell you what they need to make their classroom more successful. But education technology companies come to the table with their own ideas about classroom solutions. Educators will be willing to get on board with someone who sincerely listens to educators’ “wish lists.” In the best scenario, a company will note what an educator desires to happen in her classroom and build an app in direct response to that.
It’s Difficult to Earn Educators’ Trust
Educators are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet! They don’t have time to experiment with the apps that startups present to them every year. They are just interested in trying a tool. If they have some confidence, it will be successful. Education technology companies can build relationships with educators by creating a quality educational blog, attending sessions with educators at conferences, and engaging in conversations that show their understanding of the day-to-day struggles of educators.
Educators Spend More Time with Learners and Parents
If an app fails, the education technology company might lose some money. But educators stand to lose a lot more than that: the valuable trust and respect of the learners and parents they serve. Educators are invested in the success of their learners and will not be receptive to developers that make promises they are unlikely to keep. Education technology companies can combat this problem through honesty, transparency, and sustainability.
Companies Have No Understanding of Educator Pain Points
Do not rely on a catchy name to get the attention of educators. They want to know how your company is going to help them. Education technology developers who reveal an understanding of educators’ pain points will earn their trust and respect.
Education technology companies and K-12 schools come from different places, but they can still enjoy a harmonious relationship with little effort.