I’m not a PR guy. I’m just a teacher. But they say that if you want to be a disruptor, the best experience is no experience. So here goes…
1. It’s not about the technology. It’s about what students are empowered to do because of your technology. Show us how you take students beyond what they could do previously. Show student work (“Hey, look what this kid can do!”). Stop focusing on checkmarks, badges, data, dashboards, and slick UI.
2. Learning is social. Show students interacting with each other, questioning, helping, constructing — all as a result of using your technology. Don’t show kids glued to screens, headphones on, working en masse and in isolation. It’s creepy.
5. Show how you implement/compliment research-based practices about how students learn. Study up on these characteristics of effective teaching methods. Otherwise…
4. Practices are equally as important as content. Show how you enable students to engage and grow in the core practices in math, science, and ELA.
6. Run controlled, peer-reviewed experiments that use conceptual diagnostic tests to measure growth. We know most anything works better than (or as well as) passive lecture instruction. But how does implementation of your technology stack up to other evidence-based teaching methods? And be sure to use conceptual diagnostic tests, not final exams or standardized tests or failure rates. CDTs have been painstakingly researched and designed to measure true conceptual understanding rather than algorithm memorization. Without strong evidence, we’re just skeptical of your claims.
7. Don’t contradict yourself. Your words should match your actions.
8. Show feedback and testimonials from students. In particular, have students demonstrate their deeper understanding and expert thinking that has been enhanced by using your product. Or perhaps your technology has decreased student anxiety and contributed to a positive classroom climate. However, don’t have students talk about shallow things such as raising grades and doing well on tests.
9. There’s nothing revolutionary about old wine in new bottles. A digital textbook is still a textbook. A video lecture is still a lecture.
10. Read everything Audrey Watters writes. Everything.
Do you have any more edtech PR tips to share? Any more examples of bad PR? Any good examples? Thanks!