In an excerpt from our new free guide, How To Choose A Student Engagement System, we outline three commonly overlooked aspects of evaluating and choosing classroom technology.
In the 21st century, the path to student engagement starts with a smartphone screen—a 2016 Pew Research study found that 92% of American adults in the 18-29 demographic own one—so it’s important to get the choice of software correct.
But don’t be dazzled by the tech: consider the service, too. Here are three questions you should be armed with when talking to your edtech vendor.
- What training is there for faculty and students?
- What support do they offer after the system goes live?
- How reliable is the platform?
The company needs to have a detailed plan (either executed in person or online) to train faculty members and students efficiently and effectively. They’ll also need to have considered how existing content will be migrated over to the new platform.
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Everything from user flows (the way in which a person using the system moves through a program), to best practices for teaching in an environment that combines active learning techniques with new technologies (otherwise known as a blended classroom) needs to be addressed.
It’s helpful if vendors can provide comprehensive instructions (sometimes in the form of a dedicated support website or portal), where users can go to get answers and training guides related to the new system. Once the system has been deployed, vendors should also be equipped to answer technical support queries from a centralized location.
This eliminates the need for separate, in-house support staff, thus freeing up the institution’s resources and time.
The reliability of a student engagement software platform is measured by how long it’s been working and available for use online. This is often expressed in terms of a percentage. You’ll want this number so you can check how often and for how long over the past year the system has been down.
Another question to ask is how does the technical team handle software updates and maintenance. No one wants to contend with suddenly nonfunctioning software during the middle of a lecture, so ensure the vendor has plans in place.
Download the full free guide, How To Choose A Student Engagement System, for a closer look at everything you need to consider when choosing classroom technology.