Nobody Designed Edtech Tools for This Crisis. Here’s Why Yours Must Evolve.

Updated: May 19, 2020

This originally appeared in EdSurge on May 5, 2020 by Din Heiman .


A rousing cheer for the educators, the parents and, yes, the technologists who have stepped up to keep learning going during these past weeks. They, too, are superheroes. Now let’s have a real conversation about what “school” is going to look like going forward. As governors and districts wrestle over new policies, all we know is that school will be very, very different.

In spite of the effort, the creativity and the money that we’ve poured into education technology over the past decades, we, as an industry, must acknowledge a powerful if vexing truth: Not even the best among us designed products to be used under these conditions.

There has never been a time when learners and educators relied on technology more. For years, we have made the case that “blended” learning, a combination of technology and classic approaches, can enrich students’ experiences and support educators.

We’ve entered the age of responsibility. As an industry, we are the ones being put to the test.The best designs are born in the realities of those who use them. Schools, teachers and parents are carrying much of the burden of charting the path for our children’s learning. But education technologists, too, shoulder a mantle of responsibility for building products that support those efforts.