OPINION: The biggest tech trendsetter you know just may be – your local teacher
As more teachers reinvent their classrooms as blended, personalized learning environments, something else is happening – the nation’s 3.6 million-strong K-12 teaching workforce is becoming a consumer-electronics force capable of shaping new technology trends.
Apps like ClassDojo and Remind have seen rapid adoption because they help address a common challenge for teachers: parent communication and engagement. Software like Newsela translates the day’s news into articles appropriate for a student’s reading level, supporting literacy instruction and enabling kids of all levels to follow along in class. And the price is often right.
Companies like these are creating free or freemium technologies, often designed by former teachers, to address real challenges. Rightfully so, more entrepreneurs are designing tech for teachers because teachers are closest to the needs and behaviors of students, and are best suited to determine whether products that have been proven to work someplace else are also likely to drive success in their own classrooms. As a result, the influence that teachers have on tech products and purchasing is more palpable than ever.