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Episode 26

Designing EdTech to Meet Students Where They Are

Brief description of the episode

Hear from Serena Sacks-Mandel, Global Chief Technology Officer of Education at Microsoft, as she predicts 5 major focus areas for Education Technology going into 2023, and how we can deliver edtech that is people-first.


Key Takeaways:

  • We all have strengths and weaknesses, but with the use of technology, we can all become equal and productive regardless of what those challenges may look like.
  • Accessibility tools within technology can help ensure equity, these tools can help users not only access information but offer tools that can supplement where the user may have difficulties understanding or accessing information.
  • One proven method is that you enable and empower the educators that are comfortable with technology to help the other educators
  • Another is to have the students who are so good at technology help other students and their teachers to do better at it.
  • We can help our educators become more knowledgeable about technology with professional development.
  • Microsoft has the MIEE, a whole line of certifications for teachers so that they can become comfortable with technology.
  •  Accessibility – Accessible digital learning environments can create equitable learning experiences as most of these tools benefit all students. For example, immersive readers, that even those without disabilities can use.
  • Adaptive Learning for Personalization – It is impossible for a teacher to cater to all of the needs of all of the learners within their classroom. So we will see more AI tools that can develop personalized learning so the teacher can focus on other things within the classroom.
  • Cybersecurity – As more information about minors gets stored on the internet we will see a ramp-up of cybersecurity in an effort to protect this information. Diligence and safe learning environments before learning can happen.
  • More Learning Environments for Teacher Retention – Teacher job satisfaction is at an all-time low. We need to make teaching an attractive industry again. Not only through pay, but ensuring that they feel a sense of belonging, feel that they’re making a difference, have a work-life balance, and feel well served by their district.
  • Cutting Costs – In light of the current economy and inflation, we may be looking at “doing less with more”. Doing more with funding and being more efficient with the resources that are in the classroom right now.

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