Why Edtech Companies Need Education Researchers to Be Brutally Honest
New edtech companies are popping up all over the globe on a daily basis. Most of these companies have noble intentions of solving their own perceived problems in the classroom. Unfortunately, they have a difficult time understanding the subtle nuances of teaching without a little insight from experienced educators. Edtech will continue to develop new programs that accomplish very little without the assistance of education researchers.
It’s time for education research companies to become brutally honest with emerging edtech companies. Students and teachers alike need the support of these science-backed facts to help them connect with edtech companies who could create something amazing for the classroom. Currently, edtech seems to be falling short of its potential. Here are a few of the reasons why education researchers really need to step it up with their honesty.
Edtech often opts for just one good study.
School districts often want to see some research supporting a program before they will consider buying into the sales pitch. Edtech companies are willing to indulge them, but they only provide one solid research study that supports their product. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough evidence to ensure that this trial could be repeated with similar results. The answers might have even been cherry-picked to cast the study in a more favorable light. Education researchers need to study these programs long and hard before granting them a seal of approval. This might give school districts pause before spending their budgets on ineffective products.
Engineers aren’t designing programs to solve problems.
Edtech companies are typically founded by engineers instead of educators. They need the brutal honesty of education researchers to help them uncover what problems exist in the modern school. This partnership might make the development of an initial product more difficult, but it can ultimately make a more successful company moving forward. The current solutions offered by edtech don’t always address the most pressing concerns facing teachers, but education research could change that.
Working with education researchers could open the lines of communication.
Becoming successful as an edtech company is extraordinarily difficult due to the amount of competition in this field. A company who chooses to work with education researchers and apply their advice could have an easier time opening the lines of communication at local school districts. Some education consultants are former educators who maintain a relationship with the schools in the area. When they are familiar with a product and can thoroughly support it, edtech companies might be more successful at getting their company off the ground. Companies will have to be committed to applying the honest critiques offered in order for this to be effective.
Edtech companies have the potential to dramatically disrupt the modern education system. However, they are often lacking the knowledge of the classroom and of the various teaching styles to make an effective product. They need the brutal honesty of education researchers to help them navigate these unfamiliar waters. The partnership between edtech and education research is necessary if we want to produce the best outcomes in the classroom.