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The right edtech solutions can help districts to make sure all students thrive by supporting students, families, and educators. And fight tech fatigue.

5 ways to combat tech fatigue and support student success

The right edtech solutions can help districts to make sure all students thrive by supporting students, families, and educators

Key points:

Ask anyone involved in public education right now and you’ll hear a familiar refrain: “Too many technology tools.” Almost every K-12 district brought on new technology solutions during the pandemic, accelerating an already fast pace of tool adoption. With the pressure to solve problems fast, many of these ended up being separate, niche point solutions. In the 2022 to 2023 school year, school districts used an average of more than 2,591 different solutions. It’s no wonder so many K-12 families, educators, and staff members are exhausted and stressed by technology overload. Help is coming, but not necessarily in the ideal way: with ESSER funding running out, districts are re-evaluating the impact and scope of edtech solutions.

Evaluating the impact of edtech solutions is a logical thing to do. But there’s a reason why so many of these solutions were adopted. In many cases, they’re innovative and deeply aligned to what educators need to do their jobs well. With consolidation and cuts, I fear a return to the old days of dated, clunky, poorly built tools that get in the way of the work educators do.

Easy-to-use, integrated solutions can support student success. These five considerations can help districts choose solutions that will strike the right balance to consolidate tools, delight users, and drive student success.

Choose user-friendly edtech solutions

Solutions must be easy to use to increase the likelihood of widespread adoption within the district. Opt for solutions that foster a seamless, consistent, and user-friendly experience. Given the diverse range of technology proficiency among educators, the onboarding process must be easy for everyone who will be using the solution, regardless of experience level. Choosing intuitive, easy-to-use solutions with repeatable workflows will help to save educators’ time and maximize impact.

Consider teacher input and feedback

Educators juggle myriad responsibilities daily, making it crucial to select solutions that streamline their tasks and make their lives easier. Get feedback from people who are using the tools every day by including educators in your conversations about which edtech solutions to invest in. Additionally, seek input from educators across your district regarding the solutions their colleagues in other districts find effective. Involving educators in these discussions not only provides valuable feedback but also uncovers new ideas that directly address the needs of those who will use them. This empowers the entire K-12 community to achieve success.

Select solutions that turn student data into actionable insights

When educators can see and apply real-time student-level data, they are better equipped to help students succeed. Having accurate, well-organized, uniform data across systems, displayed in context, empowers educators with timely and efficient access to the information they need. Look for solutions that offer data visualizations and analysis features, facilitating a clearer understanding and actionable insights. Solutions that enable educators to leverage data without requiring a background in data science or technical experience will have a positive impact on their ability to take the right next steps to help improve student outcomes. By prioritizing solutions that place data directly in the hands of educators, districts can break down silos and ensure information reaches those who can wield it most effectively for maximum impact.

Look for evidence-based solutions that drive student success

As districts assess their edtech investments, they should prioritize choosing solutions grounded in research. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that federal funds be allocated only to programs that meet certain standards of evidence-based interventions. Looking for solutions with ESSA badges can help district leaders make sure they’re investing in edtech solutions that have demonstrated efficacy through rigorous research, fostering an environment conducive to driving student success.

Evaluate edtech solution utilization and impact on success

A solution that is not being adopted by educators in the district is not going to improve student success. District leaders need to regularly evaluate who is using the solutions they’re investing in. If educators aren’t embracing a particular solution, leaders need to dig deeper into the trend. Data on who is using each solution can help district leaders make informed investments in tools that support both students and educators.

The right edtech solutions can help districts to make sure all students thrive by supporting students, families, and educators. By examining key factors and approaching edtech investments with student success at the center of decisions, districts can make sure technology investments are supporting the ultimate goal of better student outcomes while managing the experience of educators.

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