EdTech companies tend to frame education around the theme of engagement. If you buy into this narrative, then the whole world of learning apps enters a race for visual and functional appeal. Designers and engineers understand they are doing important work to further education by developing snappy interfaces.
New Zealand’s Educators site reports on the upcoming strategies for Brightspace, an LMS offering by Desire2Learn. Based on research, the post claims, D2L is working on an “image-based UI” and will solve “teacher’s biggest challenges.” In the words of D2L’s CMO Renny Monaghan, it will have “engaging learning activities, easy assessment tools, [and] a parent engagement solution.”
Contrast this news with Fosway Symposium’s roundtable of global learning analysts, held last month. Its first theme was poignant: “engagement doesn’t always lead to impact.” As more organizations spend more time with a learning solution, the long-term value proposition becomes clearer. In most cases, this value is not as expected or promised. Admittedly, the focus of the roundtable was more on the corporate side of the sector.
Whether you are a startup or a concerned educator, no matter which team you sign with, you will enjoy a lot of support. In fact, if you are looking to help push the field forward, you might be better off joining either camp. Sometimes engagement is desirable by itself. Both Fosway and Peter West, Director of eLearning at D2L’s customer Saint Stephen’s College in Australia, agree. Most organizations, market participants especially, would appreciate a tool that increases productivity. But across the spectrum, a quality experience and “making people feel appreciated,” are both perfectly worthwhile outcomes of EdTech.
Read “LMS ups its game to meet evolving teacher needs” on Educators New Zealand.
Read “Fosway Symposium: HR, talent and learning in 2017” at fosway.com.
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