Jodie Pozo-Olano recently wrote an article for the Entrepreneur website titled, “What your Edtech Product Needs to Get a Gold Star From Educators.” The article recounts the difference between education technology that succeeds and what simply does not work in the market anymore. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that if they gamify learning, they will be able to sell the technology to schools. However, many teachers can do so without any technology, making the programs unnecessary. Teachers realize that they need technology products that can fulfill the students’ needs as well as solving some of the problems that they are having in the classroom.
The article reveals that after a four-year low in 2016, the spending in Edtech is finally on the rise again. EdTech investments have been growing to $1.4 billion in 2017 and are expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2018. However, some doubt whether it will reach that number because the U.S. federal education budget will likely be facing cuts. Many investors and entrepreneurs are looking at education technology with both caution and optimism.
One thing EdTech startups need to succeed is to solve problems within the classroom. Many teachers feel that they are not meeting the technology requirements because the tools available are not working. The problem for the companies is the assumption that they understand what teachers and students need without doing the research. However, some have done the research and have found tremendous success. One such company is called ClassDojo.
ClassDojo was able to succeed in the Edtech market because the co-founder, Sam Chaudhary, focused on listening to students, parents, and teachers while developing the project. The product developed to establish a line of communication between parents and teachers throughout the school year, instead of only at parent-teacher conferences. ClassDojo has become an international success and is present in more than 180 different countries. The app was designed to help students develop skills while still maintaining communication between parents and teachers about the student’s progress. ClassDojo provides parents with access to the students progress reports and allows teachers to upload photos and videos for the parents to view.