"When EdTech is flexible, it casts a wide, open-ended net that invites all learners to the table, creates more possibilities and drives achievement. Providing teachers and students with rigid, one-dimensional tech tools is essentially a waste of funds..."
Technology undeniably has the potential to transform learning in classrooms across America. Tech engages students, meets them on their own level, and provides them with an active, high-agency role in learning. One thing we must define better moving forward, however, is what makes a tech tool valuable to the classroom. For all the devices, apps, and resources that are out there for teachers and students, we’ve never actually determined what qualities make something ideal for use in the classroom. This can be a problem when it comes to purchasing time because no school can afford every new tech tool or initiative.
Here’s a key principle to guide your thinking when it comes time to examine different EdTech solutions: It must be flexible. Flexibility is the most important trait that any classroom tool can have because (as we all know) no two students are exactly alike. When we choose tools that are rigid and only designed to work one way or do one thing, we immediately limit the number of teachers and students for whom they’ll be useful. While a tech tool that does one thing one way might work for one segment of the population, it might be difficult to grasp or engage in for many others and downright impossible and frustrating for another portion of the student body.
That’s why flexibility is so important! When EdTech is flexible, it casts a wide, open-ended net that invites all learners to the table, creates more possibilities and drives achievement. Providing teachers and students with rigid, one-dimensional tech tools is essentially a waste of funds because you’re purchasing something that might work for the majority of students instead of a flexible solution that can evolve into something that definitely works for all students.
One great example of this comes from the world of learning management. When a learning management system (LMS) is rigid and only meant to support classroom learning in traditional, predetermined ways, it’s minimally useful. Sure, grading and scheduling and attendance are all centralized in one place, but they do little to actually transform what goes on in school to open up new pathways for student engagement, exploration and learning. An open-ended, flexible LMS, on the other hand, invites teachers and students to work together to find new, unique ways for students to demonstrate their learning.
Rather than simply moving traditional school into the digital space like any LMS does, a flexible, open-ended LMS empowers educators to rethink what they do and ask students to do on a daily basis. With the right LMS, progressive approaches like personalized learning and competency-based learning are possible because the flexible toolkit is already in place. Clearly, our time, energy and money should be invested in creating a digital, tech-infused 21st century classroom that values flexibility and open-ended EdTech.
To learn more about how a flexible, open-ended LMS can support personalized and competency-based learning in your school or classroom, schedule a demo of Epiphany Learning today!