Implementing EdTech solutions when funding is limited

September 27, 2019 Chris Callaghan

  • What is your advice on the implementation of EdTech solutions when funding is limited?

Identify solutions that scale well.
Implement solutions that have a positive impact on the largest number of
students and teachers. Identify solutions that are sustainable beyond the first
academic year of use. Apply for external funding to support your EdTech
solutions. 

  • How can a leader make sure
    that teachers and support teams embrace the technological change?

The adoption of new technologies
within a campus setting centres on the wins for individual students, teachers,
student support teams and campus administrators. Technology should be
introduced to solve a specific problem or a general set of problems that are
faced by individuals on the campus. Technology should be intuitive to use. If
it isn’t, it compounds the problems that individuals face. Leaders need to
acknowledge that the adoption of new technologies is not always immediate.
There is always an adoption lag. This is caused by multiple factors; including,
lack of information, training, familiarity, confidence or need to name a
few.  

  • Your latest success is Ada,
    the online digital assistant of Bolton College. How is Ada helping the college?

Ada has been designed to answer a
myriad of questions that students, teachers and support teams ask daily to
support their studies or work. Ada offers immediacy. She can respond
contextually to the individual who poses a question. This can be incredibly
powerful when students ask Ada about their morning class schedule, the
hand-in-date for their next assignment or how well they are doing with their
studies. Ada is connected to multiple datasets around the campus so this helps
the service to support and inform the decisions that everyone on the campus
make.

  • What is the future of
    voice-activated bots?

Digital assistants will support every
facet of campus life. They will support every point on the student life cycle.
As they do, they will undertake tasks that require increasing levels of
cognitive ability; such as writing student report cards, helping teachers to
assess open-ended questions, helping teachers to identify early interventions
for students at risk and so on and so forth.  

  • What can schools learn from
    your experience with Ada?

Chatbots are affordable. A small primary school can afford the running costs for these services. Invite pupils to teach your campus chatbot about life at the school. Start with the top 20 questions that are asked by everyone at the school. Start with a small use case and build from there.    

Aftab will be speaking at the Schools & Academies Show Birmingham on 13th November at 13:00 in the Technology & Educational Resources Theatre Case Study: Implementing Chatbots – Lessons from Bolton College

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