In the wake of the Bett Show that took place two weeks ago in London EXCEL center, our team discussed what have we learned from it. I wanted to share my conclusions with you in a short review.
What Bett Taught Us
AWW was exhibiting at this renowned educational show that lasted four days. There was a huge promenade of startups, enormous corporations and IT giants offering their interactive whiteboards, content software, school safety solutions and so on. I caught myself thinking: I really can’t imagine being in shoes of these teachers, trying to find the right solution for their classrooms. The offer is just too big, information overload is inevitable.
Our primary goal wasn’t to offer our product but to educate ourselves and find out what teachers really need. We are not teachers, and we really don’t know what is going on in the classrooms. But, we are eager to find it out. We strongly believe that market research is the only way to make a proper product and Bett was our perfect opportunity to speak face to face with educators across the world.
We talked with more than 800 visitors – teachers, school leaders and IT guys. We talked with people from all European countries, Indian subcontinent, China, and UAE. Finally, we came to a staggering conclusion. Although there is a pretty deep level of technology penetration inside schools in terms of interactive hardware and devices for each student, there is an overall confusion and lack of knowledge of how to use it in a meaningful way. By meaningful, I mean using technology to transform classes from traditionally based classrooms to collaboration and discussion oriented flipped classrooms. 80% of our interviewers do not use technology in a way that helps their students to engage with a class. Other 20% use it only sporadically. Technology is there to help, but if not used properly, it simply loses its purpose.
Next Steps for Teaching Beyond Technology
With the feedback we got from teachers, we have drawn out high-level ideas of what we’re trying to accomplish:
Give teachers the power to transform their classes by letting their students be in charge of their learning.
Let students explore the content in the way that feels the most comfortable to them.
Make a platform that gives students a chance to share the knowledge and collaborate with their friends.
Give students a chance to show and elaborate the knowledge from their perspective.
We want to hear your opinion as well. After all, research is a continuous process. So, do not hesitate to reach us and send us your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org