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Top 4 Things Districts Should Demand from EdTech Partners

It takes two to tango in a successful edtech partnership—especially when it’s time for back to school

Partnerships are adaptive. As one grows and is nurtured, it transforms into a lasting and meaningful relationship that keeps both parties happy. How educational technology companies engage with school districts is critical for the success and achievement of learners, and back to school is when it matters the most. These high level partnerships ultimately serve all stakeholders in moving toward and fulfilling a shared mission. The road may be rocky and sometimes challenging, but is worth the effort. It’s important to set high goals together and encourage each other along the way to truly make a transformative impact in how we educate and grow as successful partners in learning and in math.

How educational technology companies engage with school districts is critical for the success and achievement of learners.

So what should a district demand?

  1. Expertise – Your edtech partner should demonstrate the knowledge to address both current and future needs for students. From support and resources to product development and improvement to communications and account management, you should evaluate every point of contact. Who can you go to with confidence and when? You need to understand the kind of support you will receive and the level of commitment to help you achieve your goals.
  2. Capacity – Expertise is not enough. Your edtech partner must have the ability to execute needs and expectations of your district. Is there a roadmap in place or proven process? There should be. Past performance is usually a good indicator in determining what can be delivered. 
  3. Desire and commitment to excellence – Understanding your partner’s commitment to excellence will go a long way. If your partnership goals and missions are not aligned, it can be a setup for disappointment, as this EdWeek article indicates. It’s one thing to talk about meeting customer needs, but it’s another to deliver consistently over time. What’s your partner’s track record? Take a hard look at their vision and evaluate how well their practice matches and informs their future direction, because that ultimately affects you.
  4. Follow through and exceeding on commitments – Partnerships are built on trust and knowing what to expect. Exceeding those expectations takes the relationship to the next level. This is where loyalty verses simple satisfaction comes into play. Are you surprised and delighted with what you are getting from the partnership? Asking questions like this will help you meet your own goals and outperform for your stakeholders.

At DreamBox Learning, we honor and value our district partnerships so that every school year is as smooth as a tango dance. Want to hear more about building successful edtech partnerships? Listen to myself and Superintendent in Residence Dr. Gregory Firn discuss the shifting landscape of company relations with districts on the Education Talk Radio podcast.

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