Everyone always says that education is the path to a brighter future. And if they don't, they should, because it's obviously true. Education leads to a burgeoning economy through the creation of jobs and the development of qualified talent. Many believe that edtech is the key to improving the dire education situation in this country. But until edtech startups start focusing on teachers as much as students, they aren't going to change a thing.
For decades, principals, school superintendents, and educators have sought to improve education in one way or another. Whether it's the advent of chalkboards or iPads, technology has been at the forefront of that push. The problem is that, while these technologies may make the learning process easier for kids, it's not helping teachers teach. And that's the best way to get kids back in the swing of things.
“The education technology movement needs to focus on supporting teachers and letting them focus on what they do best on what technology cannot replace: inspiring students to turn into inquiring and critical minds,” said Vanessa Gstettenbauer, the senior investment manager at Founders Factory, to the International Business Times. “Technology can enable teachers to understand its students better.”
Unfortunately, even if edtech finds a way to cater to teachers and students alike, it is not going to solve all the world's education problems in the click of a button. Just as a student can't learn by receiving all the answers beforehand, edtech can't teach by providing teachers with the best way to teach. It has to facilitate learning rather than force it. Otherwise, no one is getting anything out of a good lesson.
“It is true technology in the EdTech space is not a magic solution which will miraculously improve how we educate our future generation without leaving anyone behind,” said Gstettenbauer of Founders Factory in the same interview.
Much like education in general, the effects of edtech will not be easily measured in a short period of time. The key to success will be allowing students and teachers to grow along with the technology rather than fight against it. Because education is our future, and we have to give it time to grow.
Photo: Flickr / diane horvath