Ed-Tech Companies Need to Be In The Classroom

Today, I shadowed a teacher in Prince George’s County named Matt McCrea. He is a teacher a G James Gholson Middle School, where he also chairs the Science Department.

Always Prepped was able to get some great feedback, as well as, some direction on future updates to our product. We will continue to shadow teachers, solicit advice, and build our product around the needs of teachers.

Too many education technology companies build their products without consulting teachers and do not fully understand the true needs of teachers. Companies should not create products; rather, they should solve problems.. Below are 5 takeaways that I learned today after following Matt McCrea:

1.  Before building a product, talk with teachers….a lot. Even if we think we are talking to a lot of teachers, it’s probably not enough.

2. Different districts have different needs. Different teachers have different needs.  Make sure you talk with teachers in Massachusetts, as well as, Texas to gain a full understanding of teachers’ needs.

3. When thinking about product updates or the future direction of the company, write out a list of teacher needs. Next, think, what can we do, as entrepreneurs to make a teachers’ life easier? How can we meet their needs?

4. Teachers are strapped for time. They have very little time for professional development. Make products that are extremely simple, intuitive, fast, and easy to learn.

5. It is important to understand the life of the end-user. Being there to support the user, having a clean user interface, and a robust user experience are just as important as meeting teachers’ needs.

Teachers, what other advice would you give to ed-tech companies? Comment below.


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