Today I was approached on twitter by someone (William Jenkins) whose work I have read, and who has some interesting ideas. He asked if I could discuss with him his ideas on why voxer had been successful among teachers on twitter thus far and referenced a list of educators using the application.
He writes a lot about EdTech and works with start up companies to try and make products work.
My discussion with him boils down to two major points and I am interested in other people’s take on what I am about to share.
1. Educators and EdTech companies have different views of education and education’s future.
This leads to different opinions about the quality of certain products, certain ideas, and can ultimately kill a potential EdTech company. Start listening to educators more, as Mr. Jenkins agrees, so that you can stop wasting time on things that won’t be useful and work with things that will be useful to make them better. This is the second time I have been asked to share my ideas on a form of EdTech. The first was with products I was able to demo from iPevo, for which I am grateful and was happy to share how much I like them!
2. Give educators something cool and we will find a use for it.
Voxer is a cool, fun way to connect and enhance the conversation that you have on twitter. Realistically, I am not sure if it has any legitimate practical applications in the school setting, but people are coming up with lots of creative ways to try. Educators (especially the ones that experiment with new EdTech) are thinkers, creators, explorers, and solvers. We enjoy trying things, experimenting with their abilities. Instead of giving teachers a product and saying “here is what this does” try giving us a product and allow us to figure out its uses asking for help when we need it. (Sound familiar? That is a very similar conversation I hear about student learning!)
So, what should EdTech and Educators take from my takeaways? I am not telling you! Figure it out! Decide how to use my thoughts, agree or disagree and determine what you think from there.