1. How intuitive is the EdTech?
Often the staff tasked with drawing up the shortlist for new Edtech are the most software-savvy in the school so don’t necessarily have a grasp on how difficult some people find negotiating around a screen. Look at the detail given to the design; has UX (User Experience) been given enough investment? The best UX is what’s familiar to the end user and will ensure the most positive staff engagement of the new system, keeping the fear of change to a manageable level.
2. What’s the solution’s life expectancy?
Find out what sort of a roadmap the supplier has for the product. No roadmap? Alarm bells should ring because, as the past 30+ years have shown us, we the software customers don’t always know what we will need in 2, 5, 10+ years. Software can and should be built on platforms that adapt and be scalable, with functionality that readily expands to cope with new challenges.
3. How established is the supplier in the EdTech sector – and why is this important?
We’ve all heard about software in other industries being launched only to fall short spectacularly and this can often be attributed to not understanding the customers’ needs properly. Or worse, the company folds or gets swallowed up by big business that doesn’t have the same focus or values. Within the independent schools’ market, the best suppliers work closely with their customers, building a solid reputation over many years. With this brings intuition, understanding the full picture of what can be often likened to a complex mix of small businesses under the umbrella of an educational institution!
4. Check the provider’s website
The best ones will give you background information about the company and its products, plus you can find out more about their employees and teams, what specialised departments they have, read testimonials and blogs, and check what services they offer.