EdTech Homework for School Leaders
With the meteoric rise of BYOD and 1:1 classrooms, schools and IT administrators are under more pressure than ever to choose future-ready EdTech solutions that maximize teacher control and student safety. The network experts who developed NetRef, a leader in Internet management in schools, recommend a series of questions that school leaders and IT administrators can ask providers and themselves before investing in EdTech.
“One of the most important principles for buying EdTech is to be forward-thinking,” said co-author George Dotterer, CEO and co-founder of Verite Educational Systems Inc. “Schools need tools to constantly monitor progress and determine return on investment and return on learning, so EdTech programs can adapt accordingly.”
Before purchasing, school administrators should do their EdTech homework by asking the following questions:
- What is the expected lifespan of the hardware/software?
- Will you be able to quantitatively and qualitatively support your desired outcomes with metrics provided by the EdTech company?
- Is the software compatible on all of the devices and operating systems you currently use or plan to adopt in the future?
- Will the hardware/software support all of your students’ needs?
- Are the first year and ongoing costs viable for an extended period of time?
- Is there ongoing support for the products, and, if so, is there a cost?
- What is the turnaround time for getting the hardware/software operational and is extensive training necessary?
“With new EdTech companies emerging every year and producing their own devices, it is critical that decision-makers have a decent understanding of where the school plans to go with technology in three to five years,” added Dotterer.
Dotterer and his team designed NetRef, the first-ever Internet management tool that safeguards all web access points across a school's networks and on all imported devices, helping teachers maximize the web as an educational and collaborative learning tool. With seamless and simple integration, NetRef offers umbrella protection across all systems, hardware and devices—from 1:1 to BYOD environments—minimizes distractions and helps keep students on-task.