Co-creation creates magic in EdTech

Magic doesn’t happen by itself. Magic is created.

When aiming to create magic in EdTech, it takes two to tango.

My English teacher once told me that the etymology of the magical word “Abracadabra” is actually derived from the phrase “I create as I speak”. EdTech needs the magical power of speech and open discussion to truly change the digital teaching and learning that takes place in our classrooms and everyday lives outside the school hallways.

Today, we see a lot of great potential in education technology.

Nations and policy makers have noticed that students need new skills for they will graduate into a global knowledge economy. New approaches are also proposed into teaching, and mobile devices are seen as tools to carry out this educational reform. However, the OECD Director for Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicer states that:

“To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.”

Thus, If we want to create magic in EdTech, we must create a dialogue with the true professionals of education: the teachers, schools and districts. If magic is created as we speak, we must be sure that we speak with the right people. Because the right people know the biggest challenges.

The right people to co-design innovation with are the ones who know the very challenges of the existing practices. This is for these people can help to create clearness to the unseemly “fuzzy” state of the front end of innovation. As the picture shows, the start of an innovation process is a brain dump. However, this stage is important for it creates the overall direction of the innovation process. Just last week, EdSurge posted an article on how “awesomeness ensues” when teachers build EdTech. As teachers are the experts of successful and unsuccessful practices in the classroom, I do not wonder why! Teachers have the knowledge and the expertise on the everyday life of education. This means that creating design criteria for EdTech solutions is rooted to the real life experiences of the teachers – not assumptions. When solutions are created by the ones who know what does and doesn’t work, we are more close to true innovations!

Collective creativity creates magic.

Instead of breaking EdTech innovations into silos, we should co-design. In 2015 Forbes named the ten most exciting EdTech companies one should know about. These companies are not only changing the life everyday life of educators, but also the opportunities people have through education. EdTech is also constantly growing. At the moment, the rate of digitalization in the education market is only 2%. By 2020, the EdTech market is supposed to grow to a $254 billion market. Globally, EdTech market has been suggested to be over $5 trillion in value. And this market needs truly innovative solutions that are based on co-design.

Magic can only happen if we create something, whether it is a vision of the future of education, or a personal dream of everyday digital teaching. And we all create things as we speak. So lets speak up!


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