Since the day we were born and throughout our entire life, we’re absorbed in the process of learning. Learning how to walk, how to communicate, how to build a relationship, how to start a business. That’s how education becomes our closest companion and a lifetime friend. And like a friendship, it changes over the years.
It’s no secret we’ve entered the age of the most massive, accelerated digitization of all time. It changes the way we gain knowledge and we have no other choice than to adapt to the newest educational technologies.
EdTech companies work hard to create a brand new software for learning. They apply artificial intelligence and the latest innovations to redesign the educational system. In fact, the EdTech market is saturated with tools, software, LMS, apps, and other technologies. But widely available EdTech software does not always correspond to the requirements, expectations, and needs of teachers, parents, and students.
How do we choose the right EdTech software that will simplify our lives, studies, and work? For easy digestion, here are the top hacks to help you make the best choice for your personalized learning experience.
Newest educational technologies are advanced enough to offer you sophisticated custom options, so you have permission to be picky about what exactly will meet your educational needs.
Excellent UI/UX for Teachers and Students
Users being finicky might be challenging for EdTech companies, but it is actually a healthy thing for their users.
Poor user interfaces can make the learning experience a real nightmare for tech-savvy, digital native students, who apparently were born with hack-tech genes in their DNA. On the other hand, parents or even experienced educators might not be able to handle complex software comfortably. The older folks can be slackers when it comes to learning and adopting new educational technologies. Therefore, they must be user friendly, inviting, and simple to use if they are to work throughout the educational sector.
By now, you should already see how vital it is to choose functional and attractive software. Your choice should always be based on your requirements. Even if you have a list of desired features and select a stunning software design, you can make the wrong choice easily. It’s worth the time and effort to find the product with the right feel that you need to create the best e-learning experience.
You won’t know it until you try it. You won’t buy clothing until you try it on first to see how it fits and looks. You won’t buy a cell phone before testing it to see if the interface is user-friendly and UX is on point. You won’t even buy a new brand of coffee before you taste it somewhere first. The same principle applies to software. Just don’t buy it until you try it.
Plenty of EdTech companies offer you the benefit of free trial and demo versions of their software products. Don’t hesitate to use them. It’s close to a guarantee you’ll make the right choice.
Affordable Payment Plans and Loyalty Programs
“An Investment in knowledge pays the best interest…”
Benjamin Franklin’s statement is undoubtedly true, but gathering that knowledge in the online era shouldn’t be expensive either. EdTech software needs to fit the budget and offer a variety of plans to choose from. It should provide special loyalty programs for students, parents, and educators alike.
Security and Data Protection
EdTech software providers should embed data privacy standards and legislative regulations into their algorithms. As to the golden rules enforced by national and governmental laws, the most important are GDPR, FERPA, and COPRA. If abbreviations say nothing to you, no worries, we’ll explain them below:
- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a set of written standards for the EU schools, universities, or other educational institutions. No matter where your school is located or registered, when you teach EU students, EdTech software you use should comply with GDPR.
- FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a collection of legislative norms from another corner of the world, the US. It’s called to grant parents and students the specific rights and regulate or even restrict how schools handle educational records.
- COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) is a law that prohibits unfair or deceptive use of personal information from and about children (under the age of 13 years) by the websites, apps, and other online operators.
However, it’s not only legislation that should regulate the security and data privacy of EdTech software. Make sure the EdTech provider knows how to make use of encryption built-in on a server-side and the HTTPS protocol. On top of that, the modern cloud infrastructure from reliable vendors is another option to ensure data privacy. EdTech companies that cooperate with academic institutions are fully responsible for the data privacy of their users and work to include only advanced security features and storage practices for academic databases and students’ personal data.
Traditional education and learning will likely shift entirely to the online mode sooner than we expect. You can skip much of the difficulties with what software to choose by looking through this checklist. Making your online learning enjoyable is possible and within your reach.