The Value of Risk in Edtech

The idea of trial and error (aka failure) used to be a tricky subject in education circles. Now during pandemic times, it has become part of the process whether we like it or not. Al Kingsley, CEO of Netsupport believes that some new aspects of this risk-taking culture should remain, in both industry and the classroom. In this episode of EdTech Today, Al discusses this and several other ideas imparted in his recent book release My Secret #EDTECH Diary.

Kingsley looks at educational technology through a wider lens as both executive and education advocate, who has also founded education trusts, served on several school boards. My Secret #EdTech Diary gets readers to think about the past, present, and future role of educational technology and how it influences and shapes our education system.

Education technology is nearly ubiquitous in schools but primarily in supportive roles. When the pandemic hit, technology became the only way for learning to continue as students and teachers learned and worked apart from each other. An explosion of questions then arose as school leaders, teachers, and parents then began questioning if the reliance on technology was a bane or benefit to learning. Mr. Kingsley explores these questions and lays a framework for school leaders to plan the technology-learning connection for the future.

“Some people think of edtech simply as individual and distinct solutions to single problems they find in the classroom such as how to have a video conference with 30 students,” says Kingsley. “But this is the sea-change moment when we want to expand that view and be strategic in selecting and integrating learning technology. Now is the time to be visionary, and plan where tech fits in, where it doesn’t, and solidify its role as a learning product, not just tech for tech’s sake.”

Kingsley has spent over 30 years working and volunteering in the education sector and this book brings together his knowledge and experience of education technology to share in an easy-to-read conversational format. My Secret #EdTech Diary is not only a commentary on educational technology, it is a helpful guide of tips and suggestions for best practice, suggested questions schools should ask themselves and vendors as they plan for and select solutions. Mr. Kingsley gives advice on co-producing solutions with vendors, and includes practical checklists, guidance in strategic planning, and contributions from trusted peers in the industry.

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