As Ellii’s Chief Impact Officer, I’ve enjoyed a long and passionate career in the EdTech space.
Starting in the mid ‘80s when email in schools didn’t exist, I’ve observed the transformation and impact technology can have on the education sector. Some EdTech tools are great at giving teachers flexibility over their courseware, personalizing student learning, and driving student outcomes. Others leave much to be desired.
Many of us tend to go for the latest EdTech tool on the market thinking that new means better. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the years it’s that just because an EdTech tool is new, colorful, and game-based doesn’t mean it’s engaging, user-friendly, or effective for teachers and their students.
So how do you know which digital learning tool to choose?
To help you identify the right EdTech tool for your school or district, it’s important to ask the following questions:
- Does the tool really focus on what teachers value and will actually use? Or does it try to be the solution for everything?
- Does the tool promote concept mastery and does it correlate with the student’s academic success?
- Does the tool heighten academic conversations and leverage existing knowledge?
- Does the tool support learning design for both the teacher and the student?
EdTech Tools Should Leave Room for Teacher-Student Interactions
No matter which tool you go with, teacher interaction still remains incredibly important when it comes to personalized learning. When a teacher is less involved in their students’ learning journey, students tend to disengage, regardless of platform interactivity.
Now more than ever, students are craving connection and meaningful learning experiences where teachers can guide knowledge transfer.
Choose an EdTech Tool That Makes Your Teachers Feel Valued
In addition to facilitating a positive learning experience between teachers and students, a good EdTech tool should also make your teachers feel recognized and valued.
English language teachers value EdTech tools that...
- provide students with interesting and relevant content
- use the advantages of technology to enhance reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills
- are simple to use
- provide teachers with high-quality, ready-made lessons and the flexibility to modify as needed
- have multimodal assessment tools, such as the ability to record feedback (this is faster than writing, more personal, and builds students’ English listening skills)
- can be used at home and at school, and includes both digital and paper-based options
- gives students and teachers agency, allowing for teacher and student-driven experiences (e.g., the option to activate learning tools, like Immersive Reader, or not based on needs)
Above all, a good EdTech tool should give teachers and students meaningful and personalized control—not just choice—over their teaching and learning.
Valuable learning tools like Ellii recognize that every classroom, teacher, and student is unique and has different needs.