By Abby Spoerl / August 28, 2017
Perfect Product Hunt: How #EdTech Products Can Support Your Mission
With the start of a new year comes new initiatives and goals, exciting possibilities to explore, and a new list of things you are going to tackle this school year. Good intentions, though, often seem to hit road bumps or fall by the wayside as the school year ramps up. From the minute students walk through the door on the first day, things change and time to work on these initiatives becomes scarce. And the lack of proper support by outside products can exacerbate this issue.
On the flip side, the best part about good edtech products is they can support your initiatives by guiding your plans, saving you time, and focusing your efforts. That being said, it isn’t always easy to find a product that fits this mold.
Below is a list I’ve put together to assist in the “perfect product hunt”:
5 suggestions when choosing an edtech product/company to work with…
A company shows genuine interest in your unique community and interests. As we know, no two schools are exactly alike, so you want to make sure they take interest in what you want to accomplish versus what their product accomplishes or aims to accomplish. Although they might get setup quickly, cookie cutter products often leave so much to be desired because they are built based on a single model that might not be what you need. One size does not fit all. In the end, you’ll be left wanting more.
Can their product fit to your needs? For a product to truly save you time and help you reach your goals, it needs to fully align with your endeavors. Otherwise, you might find you’re still spending too much time taking care of peripheral pieces of the project that the product does not address in order to fully reach your goals. Find a product that is the “right size” for you and remove any barriers to success you might otherwise encounter. Think of it like buying a pair of shoes that “almost” fit. You can wear them, but you’re probably going to get blisters.
Do you have the ability to contact the company to add or change things as you continue to use the product? As we all know, things can change or need to be altered as you continue working on your initiatives. It can be difficult to invest time on the front-end getting set up with a product only to find out in a few months it can’t adapt with you. Be proactive in finding out how much you can customize with the product before making the decision to get on board.
Even though you may start out with only one to two things you want to achieve in the classroom or in your school, you definitely want to look down the road to make sure you won’t need to change products as new ideas and needs arise. A good edtech product should be something that illuminates new paths you can pursue. You want to be able to add to what you started with.
- Customer Service
Are you able to reach someone who can help you if you need it? Your time is limited and quite valuable – waiting around for someone to get back to you or not being able to get the help you need can be detrimental to your success when trying to reach your goals. Find a product that understands the important position you’re in and does everything they can to support you. At the end of the day, it should feel more like a partnership than just a product.
As your school year gets under way, I hope the points above help you along the path of making edtech product decisions. Being supported in your endeavors is a critical piece to your year’s success. Best of luck and I wish you a fantastic school year!