I never would have thought accepting my first job would send me right back to the classroom.
I didn't have to get a graduate degree. But I did fall back on learning techniques I picked up during my years in the classroom. Here are 4 ways you can bring your inner student to your edtech job.
Get serious about studying your edtech products
If you want to become an expert on the products you’re supporting, you need to get to know them on a deep level. Here's how you can learn about your products and company's brand:
Create flashcards. Write down personas, features, and how your role relates to your products.
Talk out loud to yourself. Pretend you’re explaining the products to someone who’s never heard of them. You'll be able to quiz yourself on how much you know and how well you're able to communicate.
Make the most of company tools. If your company has a learning database , take advantage! And combing your company’s web pages for customer-facing info is always a good idea.
* Enter your own study tactic here.* If you don't already know, assess what type of learner you are and decide how else you want to get to know your products.
Talk to your teachers and principals
You're no longer spending time in the principal's office or attending your teacher's office hours. You have the opportunity to rewrite this relationship. Building relationships with the students, teachers, and admin who are buying and using your edtech products should feel empowering.
As a business professional, educators can inspire you to create outcomes that directly support their needs. Make talking to them on a regular basis part of your job. To get fruitful feedback, invest in fostering genuine relationships. You have more people than you think at your fingertips. What's stopping you from
hitting up your teacher friend and listening to their stories?
going on a ride-along with a sales associate to visit a school?
reaching out to your existing digital community of educators?
Use the edtech products
I get nostalgic working with kids' edtech products as an adult. If you were in school from the 90s onward, edtech probably played a role in your education.
Think about a memory game you couldn't get enough of. Or a typing exercise you couldn't stand? Whatever your experience was like, it's time to put your user hat back on.
Access your company’s demos and free trials. Empathize with the range of emotions your users may have as they navigate through the product. Make the most of the overlap your role has with product.
Use teamwork to create success
Back in the day, the announcement of a group project may have stirred strong emotions. Whether you felt excited or alarmed in the past, teamwork is critical in today's edtech space. Products are made by cross-functional relationships across roles in sales, marketing, operations, and product management.
If you feel haunted by group projects of the past, focus your attention on the positive potential outcomes of your project executing well. If assignments are delegated equitably, your tasks can feel specific and purposeful instead of overwhelming.
Ready, set, edtech!
Here's a recap of 4 ways you can lean on your school experiences to make the most of your edtech role:
Study your products.
Create relationships with your teachers and principals.
Spend time in the edtech product demos.
Collab with your cross-functional partners.
What's one more way you think you can bring your inner student to your edtech job?
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