Education

What to ask before investing in education technology

As the educational sector goes through multiple reforms, institutions are trying to adapt to all of them simultaneously. this means they would have to switch over to a technological form of holding classes through learning management system. Ed tech, also known as educational technology, makes holding classes easier. However, it comes with a cost. This is why there are some questions that institutions should be asking before investing in educational technology.

Why does your institution need it?

The question is no longer whether the school or college needs digital educational technology, it is about the goals. Some schools had switched over to virtual classes only temporarily so that they can maintain the essence of holding traditional classes once the cases declined. Other institutions found it advantageous, time-saving, and convenient. Hence, they needed durable educational technology.

A school management system comes with a cost. This cost rises as the number and complexity of features in the system increase. When institutions decide to completely automatize everyday proceedings, they invest in multiple software such as the attendance management software, assignment management software, fees management software, learning management system, and so on. A school that needs other simpler systems where only the basic communication and posting of classes could be done would invest less in technology and more in manual work done by the office staff and teachers. 

The advantage of having a permanent investment in educational systems is that the one-time cost might be high but eventually, it costs very less to maintain the systems. Manual work done by the school staff is, however, not a one-time investment and schools have to make payments in installments every month as long as they work. Hence, in terms of making financial investments, virtual educational technology outweighs traditional classes.

How would the students and teachers use it?

Student teacher culture is important to consider while investing in education technology. some students don’t even know the ERP full form, let alone be able to use the features of a learning management system for studying. Although arrangements can be made for training them constantly on how they can use it, investing in overly complicated features would be of no use if most of the school members are uncomfortable using them.

Initially, a school could have the goal of training teachers and students enough so that they could use all the features of a learning management system. That students have a lot more to learn apart from training to use a learning management system

An educational system is of no use if the educators find difficulty using it. Hence, when evaluating such an educational technology the management should discuss the features with other staff members about how comfortable they are using these, and how willing everyone would be to train and adapt in the long run. If everyone agrees, only then can the institutions’ management decide that investing in the learning management system would be worth the cost.

Is tech support available?

Investing in educational technology is not the end for institutions. There will be glitches and breakdowns in the system once in a while. It could be because of an improper connection, a security hack, or any other reason. Someone has to recognize what is causing the glitch and fix it. This task is done by tech support. Usually, the creators of a school management software void with tech support numbers where the institution management or teachers can contact for resolving issues.

Schools prefer to have tech support available at all times as a source of backup in case the support from creators is not present at the moment. Every institution is advised to invest in tech support because when some issues go undiagnosed for longer durations there is a lot in a hefty investment that could have been avoided in the presence of tech support.

Does this coincide with long-term plans?

Every institution has long-term plans, some might be increasing the number of enrolments, and others might focus on student progress only. Depending on these, institutions decide the features and investments. For increased enrolment schools invest in marketing spheres, and for the student progress in particular in learning management systems.

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