Education Technology – 5 Common Misconceptions

Education space in India has been a huge opportunity and there have been a lot of entrants in this space but with not much success. One of the biggest reasons for this has been poor implementation due to lack of understanding of the school environment and users. We have been interacting with K-12 Schools since some time now understanding the pulse interacting with staff members who make use of such technology products and to summarize, these were the most common misconceptions that came across:

  1. It is an overhead as it adds to the existing work:
    This was the most common misconception that we came across when we interacted with the school staff and tried to pitch them technology tools that could make their work easier. Instead of simply ignoring the reaction, we tried to understand the reason by interacting more with them over the same concern.What we understood was that teachers were happy the way they were working and didn’t want to change but then we tried to convince them to replace any single day to day task that they did manually through the tool and to make it even easier we worked close to them so that they would not find it difficult. After a few months things started changing. We had teachers giving us ideas and suggestions to handle more manual tasks through the tool if possible, which clearly indicated that teachers were now starting to accept it.
  2. It is difficult and made for technology people:
    Most staff members even felt that technology tools are too complex and made for use by technology people. Again, this was more due to the lack of exposure to such tools and with proper training and usage over a period of a few months was good enough to make a positive impact.
  3. Because it gives an opportunity to do school stuff from anytime and anywhere, It will add to the work and teachers even have to work from home:
    Because most marketers selling education technology products that work on the internet give the “Anytime, Anywhere” pitch without giving a proper explanation, teachers feel that since the product can be accessed from anywhere and at anytime, school will start giving them more work and they will now have to do it for home.Even we gave the same pitch because we know that it’s useful but it was followed by a clear explanation so that teachers understand that it’s a utility which gives an opportunity to the teacher to spread the work through out the day giving them more freedom in between but it completely depends on the work style of the teacher and hence in case he/she wants to carry the work home, he/she can or else finish it in the School itself.
  4. It could replace a teacher and hence it is better not to use it:
    Till today there has been no technology in India that could completely replace a teacher from the classroom and it’s next to impossible because we feel that Teacher still remains to be a fundamental part when ever it comes to classroom learning in K-12 schools.
  5. It is too expensive:
    With change in business models it’s now affordable to adopt good technology specifically with the subscription model where you have to simply pay as you use with no upfront contracts and anytime you feel that you are not getting enough value, you can simply unsubscribe and get all your data back with no extra cost.

So to conclude, we felt that most concerns or misconceptions were created by the vendors itself who just sell a “School Management System” or a “School ERP” because these are the most popular terms and then disappear without helping or training the staff well on how to use the product and this adds to the non acceptance of technology products due to the bad experience.

We feel that it has to be a continuous training effort because even the technology keeps evolving with the changing demands of education and hence the training has to go on so that the School staff never finds it difficult to use technology and finds enough value to keep going.

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  • RK SRIVASTAV

    I agree to all points that is undermisconceptions.
    Technology is welcome to modern pedagogy and in schools. But to what extexnt ? Should we copy /follow all that is attractive inspite of not being conducive . The usage was made popular in places /countries where schools were inassessable and the number were few and no teachers available. Candidates / prospective students are told to study at their places by use of this technology (open school / home school ) and then seek admission to higher studies available in urban localities.

    In our context the problem is –
    1. We have schools in every nook and corner in urban and semi-urban setups.
    2. Student population is manyfold and schools are full to capacity and are over flowing.
    3. Teacher student ratio is 1: 40 + up to 60. (I visited Govt.schools where teacher student ratio is 1: 100+ )
    4. Qualified teachers are without jobs and each year many are added.
    5. If employed in private schools they are over exploited and are at regular fear of lossing the job ( Unsecure ).
    6. In govt. schools lakhs of teacher vacancy exists and millons of students fate is at stake.

    To my opinion– Lets first do house keeping and upgrade the Indian schools (where the massess are ).
    2. Bring in teachers to teach the core subjects and goom them to educate the needy.
    3. Techonology usage in such schools is a far story. However, it has become compulsion in urban schools ( and Elite ) due to competion to use it and cash it.

    I may sound to be negative of technology but the fact is basics are unfulfilled.

    • admin

      Totally agree with your points Mr. Srivastav and yes, there are a lot of basic needs that need to be fulfilled for better school education in India especially good teachers who are passionate about teaching and can educate the masses.

      This article is slightly biased towards technology in education because we are a group of Education Technology people and feel that technology is a powerful enabler which can be used well to remove inefficiencies in education and improve it.

      Yes you are absolutely correct that there are so many schools and lesser amount of teachers to educate masses and similarly there are a lot more concerns but the purpose of this article was to address the set of schools or teachers who can use technology to make the education process better but are still not using it because of their fear of Technology.

      In the last few years we have seen more technology driven schools run by young people trying to bring education to the Rural areas and yes this is still not enough because we need more such initiatives but at the same time we also feel that if people adopt technology in Education not just to create hype but for real use, they can actually make an impact in Education and with time things can improve.

  • RK SRIVASTAV

    Thanks Mr. Abhiraj. I know that you represent an edu tech co; and you are talking in that light. I just gave my frank opinion on Indian school senario. I did not want to hurt feelings of the staff and the esteem co; keep it up!

    • admin

      Thanks Mr Srivastav and that’s absolutely fine. Keep putting your perspectives and feedback because that’s what we want through this blog…

  • Kuriakose

    Technology is now a reality.No one can do away with that.Smart classes do a lot of good for the mediocre and below average students.Teachers should use it as and when required.Smart class should not be used like a projector where teachers stand as mute spectators.The use of technology is to make the teaching learning more effective.We cant condemn it .Apprehensions of teachers should be addressed.In govt schools in Kerala too teachers confidently use ICT

  • Brahim

    This is a truly beautiful and inspirational piece. I can relate whole-heartedly to your message, both as a parent and a teacher. Yes our children are so precious. I often watch my daughter go off to school with her heavy back pack, looking like she’s carrying the cares of the world on her shoulders and wonder. How does she fit in? Do her teachers like her even a little? Will she feel successful, supported and encouraged by her teachers and peers? Then, as a teacher, yes . I try to create an environment that will nurture every child who comes into my room. There are times, however, when I feel I am inadequate for the huge task at hand. Sadly .no ..I don’t always reach my students. As hard as I try, I cannot provide for them in a way a parent’s interest in their well being, their education can do. There are many who experience so many obstacles to being happy and successful that come into our rooms .You have put an enormous challenge out to us all .parents and teachers alike. You have given us all something to think about in a unique and poignant way. Oh, if only all parents could express the same level of passion in their children’s education as you have for your children’s education. But while many parents are just trying to keep their lives afloat, at least they have you to be their spokesperson to speak up for their children. They are, after all, the whole reason behind what we do!Thank you, for creating this and sharing it!

  • Abhishek Dorik

    Great, amazing compilation of the common myths associated with the School Management Software, Another myth which i got cleared from a talk with a friend of mine working in this software discovery platform SoftwareSuggest was that, I believed the school management software was not just expensive but leds to even more investment in its assembly and maintenance, which it surely doesn’t.

  • Neha Chaitali

    Awesome common misconceptions regarding education erp systems. It is a fresh wave for educational institutions, harnessing the power of innovation to enhance efficiency within institutions, putting all users at the hub of education, unrestricted by time and place.

    Thanks for sharing