Edtech Companies: Here is What Elementary Teachers Want From You

Many people mistakenly think that educational technology–or technology of any kind–has no place in the elementary classroom. It is a misconception that technology cannot be developmentally appropriate. However, the reality is that educational technology can play a huge, appropriate role in elementary school programs. While individual classroom needs vary, most elementary school teachers hope to meet very specific goals with their use of educational technology.

It is purposeful

The idea of educational technology in early childhood isn’t just to kill time or keep students occupied while you grade papers. Elementary school technology should accomplish a specific learning goal; for example, students should be engaged in developing a skill rather than watching a random movie on an iPad.

It is limited

Introducing technological skills is important, but it doesn’t need to be used in every lesson. Try limiting its use to less than half an hour a day to maximize its benefits and reduce the risks presented by increased screen time.

It is age appropriate

Make sure the apps you select for your children are introducing them to skills and concepts that they are prepared to learn. Sometimes, apps and other technologies can be developmentally inappropriate, causing students to either be bored (if they are designed for younger students) or simply lost. Good educational technology will also adapt to individual learning styles, needs, and progress.

It provides room for exploration

Using educational technology is a great way to allow students to flex their creative muscles. Teachers recognize that there is room in the curriculum for apps or programs that require students to drill material, but they also want programs that allow students to paint, draw, and innovate.

Teachers also want technology that is responsive to students’ needs and interests and allows them to make mistakes without fear of retribution. Making mistakes helps students explore their learning styles and needs, and good educational technology will allow them to make those necessary mistakes.

It develops twenty-first-century skills

Good edtech allows educators to get students thinking–without them even realizing they are doing it. Activities, as mentioned earlier, should not be passive, but should require students to think outside the box. Technology should require students to develop necessary skills for future education and eventual employment, such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

What elementary school teachers want from edtech is to have access to another tool simply. It’s not designed to replace instruction, but to supplement and enhance it. Like any other tool–pens, pencils, markers, or erasers–it should make a lesson better and more accessible for any student.

2 Replies to “Edtech Companies: Here is What Elementary Teachers Want From You”

  1. Using tech to engage students on purposeful developmental skills is a crucial priority. I believe tech is crucial component for the future success of our students.

    What else teachers want? As an elementary teacher, I think of the bigger picture. What I want is first and foremost is access to technology. Resources like grants and other ways to bring tech into the classroom is what I want. I want it not schedule for specific times of day or on specific days of the week. That is one of the hardest things to accomplish.

    Can you or tech companies share how teachers can accomplish this without having to spend phenomenal amounts of time, sometimes months to make it happen? I’ve tried just a few, but I’m not a grant writer, and so when a grant does not come through after hours of time, it’s difficult to continue the efforts. I am a dedicated teacher and I’d rather spend my time on my students.

    Can you offer reasonable resources to bring more access into my 4th grade Dual Language classroom?

  2. Engaging students on specific developmental goals and authentic use of tech are crucial components to leading students towards successful futures. I believe it is crucial to have tech in the classroom.

    On the idea of “What teachers want..” I often reflect on the bigger picture. Why using tech is important is for me a given. Too many classrooms are behind, way behind in offering students the tech experience needed for a successful future.

    As an elementary teacher, what I want for my students first is access to tech. I don’t want it for my students a few minutes a day, scheduled for specific times, or specific days of the week. I want it available to them all day, every day.

    I have tried a few times writing grants. When hours, sometimes weeks or months are spent on writing a classroom tech grant does not pay off, it’s difficult to continue trying. Most tech grants lean towards science/math classrooms. I lead language arts in my classroom, in two languages. Like every other teacher, my time is limited. I don’t want to burn out trying. I’d much rather spend my limited time on my students.

    Do you or tech companies have reasonable resources or recommendations for me to bring more tech (iPads, laptops, PCs, etc.) into my 4th grade dual language classroom?

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