In previous posts, we have taken a look at educational results involving edtech. Studies are starting to show measurable benefits when it comes to personalized and adaptive learning, and MOOCs are helping millions of learners to acquire valuable skills.
As edtech comes into its own, it can be instructive to examine factors that influence adoption of technology. For instance, stakeholder perceptions can accurately reflect real experiences of edtech in the classroom, or not.
This week, EdSurge posted an article on educational technology by Jeffrey R. Young that reviews a recently published book, To My Professor: Student Voices For Great College Teaching. Young notes the predictable tension between professors and students when it comes to technology in the classroom.
Mentioning that some professors ban technology from the classroom, Young speaks with one of the book's authors, Meaghan Markey.
Markey, who graduated from Michigan State in December, co-wrote the chapter about technology. It includes research revealing students spend 20 percent of class time on their phones and includes interviews arguing that students are more engaged when laptop lids are shut and all phones put away. Markey, however, says that often students use phones to look up information related to class rather than interrupting the professor to ask a question.
Here we can see perception running into a more nuanced reality. In a higher education setting, where students are paying for their education, and expected to take full responsibility for their learning, a "no tech" policy essentially takes useful tools out of students' hands.
Looking at an area where perception likely reflects a real problem, Markey says that students continue to face significant issues when it comes to functionality of edtech products.
For Mackey, the biggest takeaway from the chapter is how frustrating online classes really can be. During her own college career she took in-person, hybrid and fully online courses. And in online courses, she often faced technical glitches that threw her off track. “It’s simple things, like, sometimes Skype doesn’t work correctly when you’re doing a Skype interview,” she said. “Or your professor says use this specific program, and it doesn’t work on your computer.”
The quickest way to discourage learner engagement is by providing a product that doesn't work. Technical problems can leave an entire group of stakeholders resistant to educational technology.
Which is why thorough and detailed quality assurance (QA) procedures is so essential. Young learners undoubtedly want interactive, media-rich educational experiences. But tech-savvy students have little patience for glitchy software. And functionality issues give resistant stakeholders an easy talking point.
If you are looking to ensure the functionality of your educational product across platforms and devices, please feel free to get in touch with Mosaico Solutions. Our QA testing processes help you maximize sales by ensuring that your target audience receives a product that functions as intended.