Before You Invest In Classroom Technology

New technology in the classroom can help increase educational outcomes. However, before you invest in the latest product or program, there are several factors you should consider. Is it easy to learn and integrate? Will it help you meet your educational goals? Has it been tried in other classrooms? New technology can be exciting, but just because it’s new doesn’t mean you should rush out and buy it. Keep reading to learn more.

Goals and Standards

The first question you should ask yourself when considering new classroom technology is does it align with your school’s educational goals and standards. Does this new program or product offer something new that you don’t already have in your educational toolkit? Since all of your students have different learning styles, new technology should expand on the learning experience while providing methods of learning that work for all of your students.

Research and Evidence

A second factor to consider is the amount of unbiased research about new educational technology. Has the product or service been tested in the classroom before? If so, what were the results? New products go through a testing phase to ensure classroom functionality and positive integration. For example, the interactive whiteboard was very effective in initial classroom testing. It was shown to increase student engagement through interactive instruction methods.

Privacy and Protection

When it comes to technology, privacy should also be a high priority. Personal information of both the student and the teacher should be protected. For example, the Remind program allows teachers to send text message alerts and reminders to their students without revealing private phone numbers. Hyper-converged infrastructures and compatible software are also types of technology that helps protect student’s and educator’s personal information from hacking and identity theft. Does your new software meet the privacy standards of the Software and Information Industry Association?

Implementation and Support

Finally, you should consider how the demands of implementing a new educational product will affect your instruction time. Does the developer provide training for their product and how long does the implementation process take? New technology is great, especially if it helps improve student performance in the classroom but you should always try to anticipate and plan for technical difficulties. If there’s a problem with the product, who does the educator call for troubleshooting? Will outages affect the classroom experience?

Before you invest in new educational technology in the classroom, take the time to do some research and make sure it will meet your educational standards and help improve your student performance.