The academic world changes slower compared to other areas. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exciting new roles available in schools and universities. One of those jobs is education technology (edtech) coordinator, a title that might not be the same in all schools and countries, but comes with similar tasks and responsibilities.
Since not all institutions have such a position, many people might be wondering: what does an edtech coordinator actually do?
The short answer is: an edtech coordinator knows edtech inside out and helps teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. Yet, we need to look at the big picture to see just how much impact such a role can have on improving teaching and learning.
What does an edtech coordinator do?
So let’s see what the most important ways in which an edtech coordinator helps schools transform their daily activities are:
Implementing an edtech strategy from start to finish
While implementing an edtech strategy is a team effort, the edtech coordinator has a unique role. There are many steps between deciding to implement edtech to having a functional edtech program.
The steps include researching methods and edtech tools, getting everyone on board, measuring results, gathering feedback, and being the connection between different departments — all crucial aspects that make the difference between success and failure.
More often than not, they also intervene whenever there’s a need, particularly with offering tech support.
Managing change and evaluating results
Schools usually resist change. That’s the nature of organizations in general, and change isn’t always good, especially when done haphazardly.
However, it’s the only way to progress and meet students’ needs, which change from generation to generation. A particular task that an edtech coordinator might have is to periodically evaluate the state of edtech in a school, decide when tools need to be replaced, and so on.
More often than not, your strategy itself needs to be adjusted. A school needs a person who can evaluate the technology and teaching methods, educational content, and the training that teachers get at each stage of implementation.
Read more: 5 Edtech tools to try out this year
Training teachers and other staff members
Training teachers is by far the most important task of an edtech coordinator. As teachers themselves, they are the best judge of what teachers need when it comes to technology.
They assess educators’ knowledge and create a professional development plan that fits their schedule, teaching methods, and subject matter. They do all of this while “translating” all that complicated tech jargon into accessible and relatable language.
Most of all, teachers are very busy, so coordinators have to figure out the best way to offer training — as self-paced courses, face to face instruction, a two-day digital boot camp, whatever works best.
Read more: How to succeed with online PD for teachers
Assisting teachers in the classroom
An edtech coordinator helps teachers integrate tech into the curriculum sustainably. By that, I mean adapting to each situation, especially now that schools are moving towards a hybrid approach and help individual teachers introduce new and exciting activities.
Coordinators also create online lessons and modules, make sure that the content aligns with the learning objectives, manage online school communities, give advice when it comes to online assessments, basically assisting teachers on all levels.
As a side note, they also help administrators with essential tasks such as processing student records and grades more efficiently.
Identifying great teaching and learning resources
The edtech market has exploded in recent years, and there are many solutions out there. Making a firm decision to bypass or use any new software tool, device, or even to choose an educational content provider isn’t easy at all. Considering that they often work with strict budgets, they need to be pretty good at estimating exact costs.
School leaders might have the final say, but the coordinator’s expertise significantly impacts their final decision to implement new edtech. A coordinator’s job includes maintaining a connection with vendors and keeping up with recent developments.
Maintaining a unique set of skills
Edtech coordinators are more than tech specialists. They’re usually a creative bunch, with an eye for detail, which helps them design online lessons. Some of them are also able to code, design web pages, and troubleshoot hardware problems.
Given that they can solve complex problems, many coordinators also have a career outside academia, such as working for an edtech company as a consultant or as an instructional designer for the business sector.
Edtech coordinators need to constantly upgrade their skills and be on top of most of what’s new in edtech.
Being an edtech coordinator is a more flexible career option for teachers that don’t want to be in the classroom all the time while maintaining a positive impact on education. To secure a job as an edtech coordinator, you might need a degree in Computer Science, education, or educational technology. Each school defines what they need in terms of the job description, so they might expect you to have a few years of classroom experience.
Overall, it’s a rewarding job for anyone with a passion for technology, but most of all, for teaching.
Ioana believes that education in action is the only way to change the world. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.