Have you ever seen an infomercial? You know, the ones that are on loop late at night?
Did you notice that nearly nearly every time they talk about the product they are selling they refer to it as a “system”, “technology”, or something similar?
“Call now for your stain removal system!”
“Get the entire non-stick kitchen pan system with patent pending technology!”
I’m sure you have seen this before, and it is no accident. People like systems. We are drawn to things that “work automatically”.
But the truth is there is no such thing. The system is only as good as the person (or people) who set it up and maintain it. This is even more true when it comes to education technology.
Let’s take the learning management system as an example. There are thousands of LMS options out there today boasting some really great functionality. To market these systems businesses will highlight these features in a way that gets you excited – it’s just the nature of selling.
With this focus on features it can become easy to assume that the system itself is going to make your learning program successful. Heck, by the sound of it it appears that all you have to do is create the course and you’ll get thousands of users going through the content, earning badges, and interacting!
It is important remind ourselves that the edtech tools we use aren’t the “be all-end all” for our learning program success. In fact, it’s when we rely solely on the tool that the program often fails. We cannot forget the human element. Ultimately we are the ones that have to make these tools work for us.
As you begin implementing new learning technology try to look past all of the sales hype and think about it from a practical standpoint. Determine if the tool will actually help you meet a defined learning objective. If so, investigate how it will help and how much effort on your end is needed to get everything implemented in a successful way.