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Saturday, September 21, 2019

The art of selling education technology to academic professionals

by Peter Krence (writer), , July 08, 2019

This can come across as a threat to the jobs they cherish and love so much.

Of all the awe-inspiring and exciting innovations that have come out of the worldwide education industry,EdTech (or, education technology) is one of – if not the – most exhilarating and promising of them all. Of course, the world is no stranger to rapid digitalisation and technological advancement, but in the landscape of education – a traditionally-inclined sector – this is an immense achievement. Categorically, education is not an industry that was “broken”, so the fact that technological advancement has caught on here is immensely impressive.

So, there can be no doubt that EdTech is impressive and necessary, but there is still the issue of selling it successfully to those that know the education industry best – the educators. These are people who have dedicated their lives to shaping the minds and academic advancements of generations of learners. So, it is entirely understandable that they would feel threatened by technology, when perhaps all they even know of technologies are that they are designed to simplify life. This can come across as a threat to the jobs they cherish and love so much.

Understanding the position of educators

Many educators are not familiar with any technological innovation, whether it be understanding the basics of automation, or learning cyber security (or any other manner of technological advancements there are, for that matter). This initially put them in the position of feeling vaguely threatened by the introduction of EdTech. It is entirely understandable why this would be their initial reaction, so it is first and foremost important to understand their position.

Do not come into the pitch waving your arms around and telling them they are silly because EdTech is not what they think it is…come into the pitch and open by expressing that you understand why they feel the way they do, but you would like the opportunity to show them that EdTech can make their jobs easier, not take over their positions entirely.

Coming into the discussion with visuals

It goes without saying that we all learn differently. From the offset, many people do not absorb information as well just being told, as they do when they are given visual demonstrations. It is easier to understand something when it is in front of you (for the most part), so place the information on the table and show them how it works. Do not just explain it and hope for the best.

Visuals are your best chance at getting them on-board. These are individuals who have built their careers around showing people how to do things, so do not simply tell them and expect it to have the same effect. Like anyone else, educators respond best to what they know.

Be prepared for any and all questions

Without a doubt, the individuals you are pitching to are going to have questions both during and after your pitch – and you best have answers. Being in an EdTech discussion and not knowing your product will only doom you to fail. This is the nature of any type of learning and communicative skill. Be prepared, know EdTech in and out, and think of it from their perspective. In this way, you can better prepare yourself for the types of questions and queries they might have.



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