The future of EdTech relies on better education content writing

by Darren Clare

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Is education content writing as a part of a wider comms strategy the way to win hearts and minds?

With the year we’ve had of online lessons, video conference parents’ evenings, and online reports, you’d be forgiven for thinking that widespread adoption of Education Technology (EdTech) is a no brainer. After all, it transformed institutional learning, still heavily entrenched in a bricks and mortar model, into progressive digital education platforms practically overnight.

But while investment appetite in this market is still strong – Barclays estimates the EdTech market will reach a total value of $368 billion by 2025 – necessity doesn’t always ensure success. Studies show that classroom tech, such as interactive whiteboards and iPads, can distract and even harm learning. So, just how do EdTech providers encourage adoption and improve the use of tech solutions at this moment of pivotal change?

The benefits of EdTech

When it’s accessible and appropriate, educators agree that EdTech can be hugely beneficial for empowering learners. It can mean personalised and timely feedback for students, resulting in increased motivation; better communication with parents (only 3% of schools in one survey said they would go back to the often fraught face-to-face parents’ evenings post-Covid); and exciting tools for enlivening learning and encouraging engagement and collaboration. Think gamification, digital textbooks, augmented reality, mind mapping and personalised learning apps.

The importance of education content writing in breaking down barriers

While the adoption of classroom tech and virtual learning tools is inevitable and welcome, the technology itself is only one piece of a wider puzzle of delivering effective education. Educators need to understand how to maximise its capabilities and build their confidence in using them. Simply installing tech in a classroom is not enough – no one wants teachers using an interactive whiteboard as a very expensive chalkboard because they haven’t had the training to make the most of its benefits.

Comms is crucial to the rollout of EdTech – without effective training and change communications, educators may not understand why it’s important or how to make the best use of it. They might not adopt the behaviour change needed to make a tech solution successful or, at worst, may be resistant to change. This could reduce the likelihood of successfully incorporating tech solutions into everyday learning. The Department for Education’s (DfE) report, Realising the Potential of Tech in Education, may need to update its pre-pandemic issue in April 2019. However, the barriers to effective EdTech adoption it outlines remain true. It calls for the need for greater digital capability and skills, including:

  • “The skills and confidence to use technology effectively
  • The leadership to instigate change and to empower teachers and lectures to be confident users of EdTech
  • The awareness of available tools and expertise needed to compare and contrast different technology options.”

Using change comms principles to communicate

Keeping up to date with the rapidly changing world of technology can be a huge challenge for already over-stretched educators. Time and money are often limited when it comes to teacher training and capabilities and wider tech support. This is why communication of wider tech developments that impact learning is key.

Framing EdTech with tried-and-tested change communication principles may be the answer in enabling teachers in this brave new world:

Understand the problem you’re solving

It may seem blindly obvious, but many organisations start to communicate without a clear idea of what they want to achieve. So make sure objectives are mapped out and don’t launch without a plan.

Target and tailor communications

If you’re communicating with remote staff, think about prioritising information. Information overload is a real problem, so make an effort to cut down the noise and convey only relevant and important information at the right time.

Think about hearts, minds, situations

 You need people on board so give a crystal-clear vision of the outcome you want to achieve, emphasise and explain why change is needed with education content writing. Make it easy to embrace change: provide training, support groups, clear step-by-step instructions, mentors and peer pressure.

Be honest about negatives

Change can be uncomfortable, and there’s often pressure to be relentlessly positive. A better approach is to be honest about the challenges a change could bring and emphasise the benefits to offset these. Have an answer to the inevitable ‘What’s in it for me?’ question from educators.

Chalking up success  

EdTech is a sector that’s here to stay, but how well it’s implemented will determine its future adoption. As we’ve seen, it’s much more than installing a device and expecting results. Instead, it requires robust communication to win over those resistant to change and empower everyone to make the most of its capabilities.

Give yourself the best chance of success by using language that enables and instils capability and confidence. Building these will help to engage your target audience and get users behind your tech. Boost transformative change by investing in an education copywriting agency with the expertise and strategic insight to help you win with words. You’ll be well on your way to setting your organisation up for success.

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