The pandemic forced dozens of educational technologies upon educators, often intensifying the logistical headaches and personal heartaches of remote learning. Teachers remain acutely aware of what is not working, yet I have not met one who plans to abandon all tech post-pandemic. Teachers today often discuss which tools have earned an enduring place in their practice, and which might be embraced were specific shortcomings addressed.
This moment is thrilling because of how vocal and precise educators have become about the shortcomings, enumerating desired features that are absent, or present but annoying. After decades of ed-tech hesitancy, most teachers have become power users, demanding more from their tools, and deft enough to switch when a better tool appears. The field is in rapid evolution: those ed-tech providers who listen to teachers are improving quickly; those who aren’t listening won’t survive.
The most urgent request from teachers is for ed-tech tools to start playing well together instead of having different logins, data stores, and interfaces. How will this coordination happen in an industry with thousands of participants, none of whom is big enough to serve as a center of gravity?