7 Ways to Get Students to Use Educational Technology
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7 Ways to Get Students to Use Educational Technology

Every year, the User Experience (UX) Team at Hobsons hosts a UX Lab at the Naviance Summer Institute to get feedback from our users, and to provide a casual environment for attendees to share their needs with product managers, researchers, and designers.

Last year, we asked our users what they do to encourage their students to use educational technology. We’ve summarized their feedback into seven tips that can help students adopt educational technology that you’re using in your school.

1. Get an adult on board

Some of our attendees felt that it was very important to get a teacher, counselor or a parent to be a champion of the technology. Students tend to listen to enthusiastic adults; therefore, getting a key adult excited about the technology you’re using is critical.

Words of Advice:

Find an enthusiastic counselor to lead it! This gets everyone on board!

“Engage parents about the technology on college night.”

2. Give prizes

Other attendees felt like incentivizing students with prizes can generate excitement around using the educational technology.

Words of Advice:

“We give prizes for the first five students who activate their accounts.”

“I give my students punch cards that get punched every time they come to us. When they're done, they get entered for a prize!”

3. Encourage creative projects

Some attendees shared that they encourage students to use the technology for fun and creative projects. This can help students look forward to using the technology outside of when they are required to use it.

Words of Advice:

“Make students submit creative projects via different technologies; e.g. post a video about your favorite college.”

4. Use social media

Many attendees shared that they encourage students to follow the social media channels for their college counseling and teaching departments where they post regular reminders to students to use the technology. Using a mix of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs can help keep students interested.

Words of Advice:

“We use twitter to post reminders and information about events. We ask our students to follow us, but we make sure we tell them that we will never follow them back. It seems to work!”

5. Make it a requirement

Some attendees shared that it is simply enough to “force” students to use the technology. For example, if students want credit for a task or assignment, they have to use the technology in question. Or, if students had to submit an assignment, they are only allowed to complete the task using the technology.

Words of Advice:

“You can’t give them too many choices. They need to use it.”

“Require surveys to be completed [in technology] before meetings can be scheduled.”

6. Provide access to computers and tablets

Some students like the draw of being able to use computers or tablets freely at school. College counseling and teaching departments can leverage this by purchasing laptops or tablets for students to use. Establish guidelines for students, letting them know that in order to use the computer or tablet, they must also use the educational technology in question.

Words of Advice:

“Have a district directive to make technology a priority.”

“We purchased iPads and use them in small groups in our Career Center.”

7. Use the technology for ‘everything’

Some attendees shared that the barrier to getting students to use technology on their own was the fact that they did not use it enough. Instead, try using the technology for ‘everything’ that the students need it for so that they gradually become more familiar with it and reliant on it.

Words of Advice:

“We provide them all their resources in [technology]. They really use it for all their needs.”

“We require a multitude of things to be completed in [technology] so it forces them to sign in!”

What tips do you have to get your students to use educational technology? Visit the User Experience Lab at the Naviance Summer Institute this year and tell us your ideas!

Shreya Kothaneth

Shreya Kothaneth

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