Think back to your time in school. What comes to mind first? Is it all the subjects you studied? Or maybe the friends you made? For many of us, we think of our favorite teachers. Teachers occupy such a special place in the collective consciousness because of the knowledge they impart – both data-driven and socio-emotional. Teachers teach us how to get along, how to follow rules, how to ask the right questions or find the right answers. Their influence outlives the time they are actually in our lives exponentially.
As the people who spend the most time interacting with students, teachers are often the end-users when it comes to edtech products. Their influence can be underrated by edtech sales and marketing professionals because they are not always the decision makers for their schools or districts. However, as the prime users of whatever products are purchased, their influence is immense in determining which products and services will make the most difference in the classrooms. So, let’s take a second to think about the main motivators for teachers when considering new products.
Is it easy to use?
Technology can be daunting for teachers who are not native users. Yes, it’s helpful to have an easy to use product for teachers, but it is also important for the product to be easy to teach to kids. New technology should empower teachers, not leave them frustrated, so if there are helpful tools and accessories to simplify the process be sure to highlight them.
Obviously, the intention of most products is to help students learn and develop, but as marketers or sales people, we can get caught up in the technical details and differentiators of a product before we’ve really explained why it’s a useful tool. In particular, teachers want to know how new products or services can compliment their own knowledge, as well as add something new that they couldn’t do themselves without great difficulty. Coding robots are a great example of this. Yes, you could teach students how to code without the robotics element, but it would take more professional development for the teacher and likely be less fun and engaging for students.
Are there professional development options?
You can’t sell people on something they don’t understand – and teaches are no different. Professional development tools in the form of videos, FAQs, live chat systems, webinars, virtual trainings, on-site trainings or any combination thereof are a great way to get teacher buy-in on a project. Collaborative online community platforms are also important, as they get teachers sharing best practices and tips for your product. This can be a blog, Facebook group or on social media.
Warm, fuzzy memories will continue to live in the minds of students for years to come if we keep providing unique and engaging tools to empower teachers.
What other factors make the difference when getting teachers on board with a product? How do you see teachers influencing decision makers?