Educators need to be set up for success in a virtual world, both to provide the best possible education to students and to reach their own professional goals.
The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on how difficult it can be for education professionals to connect with students in wholly and partially digital learning environments. In the long term, distance learning is only growing more common as digital infrastructure supports increasingly enriching and immersive learning environments.
Edtech companies can enhance ease of use and engagement in their programs and applications to provide potential and current customers with more relevant, useful, and effective solutions for virtual learning. Let’s consider some common pain points for educators, students, and parents as a springboard to identifying potential areas of improvement in your own offerings.
Common digital learning concerns for educators
“Among educators’ top concerns: successful remote activities and identifying struggling students.”
THE Journal, a technology-focused education publication, shared the results of a University of Phoenix and Edelman Intelligence survey that helps to identify key concerns for educators related to virtual learning. Educators were most interested in opportunities to learn more about and implement processes for:
- Creating successful remote activities.
- Identifying struggling students.
- Encouraging interactions with and connections between students.
Enriching and valuable remote activities
This common concern for educators has especially strong alignment with the offerings of edtech companies. While not all edtech products are intended to be used in remote learning, nearly all are built on the idea of a student using a computer or mobile device to interact with the program or application.
Your business can carefully review its offerings for instances where an in-person learning environment is assumed and make adjustments to better align with virtual education. One potential strategy could be changing prompts that instruct a student to raise their hand instead of guiding them toward sending a digital message to their teachers. You can also make more substantial improvements, such as incorporating microlearning segments — as detailed by eLearning Industry — and increasing personalization. These strategies can address shorter attention spans and the potential for increased distractions in nontraditional learning environments.
Identifying struggling students
In-person education offers plenty of context clues and closer connections to students that allow teachers to readily identify the problems encountered by learners. Remote learning can remove some of these valuable, if implicit, indicators of potential issues.
While edtech products already provide key information to educators related to student performance, broadening the types of data shared can help teachers identify and support struggling students. One option is to offer more granular information, such as highlighting outliers in terms of the amount of time it takes to complete a homework problem or part of an in-class activity. By providing more details related to student challenges, educators can start more specific discussions with learners and provide more targeted and relevant assistance.
Encouraging interactions and connections between students
Collaboration, discussion, and similar activities are valuable for students, both from the perspective of learning about specific course material and, more broadly, for developing interpersonal skills.
Edtech companies can look for opportunities to expand on existing avenues for collaboration and discussion in their products and services, as well as implement new ones where appropriate. Every platform and learning solution is different, which makes it difficult to provide broadly relevant examples. But the underlying principle is the same: Identify ways in which your product or service can encourage student interactions, and then implement them.
Reaching the right audience with an exceptional edtech offering
Having a great product or service can only take you so far — your company also needs to connect with the right educators in the right place at the right time. Agile is here to help your business do exactly that, with accurate, current, and regularly updated contact data for education professionals. To learn more, get in touch with us today.