Video Is the Minimum: What Students and Teachers Deserve From EdTech Platforms in 2021 and Beyond

Bill Portin, Chief Commercial Officer, Workstorm

K-12 schools nationwide have had to reimagine their learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting to online and hybrid learning. What started as a trend seems here to stay: The K-12 e-learning market is expected to grow almost $20 billion by 2025. The effects of the pandemic on the education sector will likely linger for years, and administrators must adopt a more agile plan to meet today’s education challenges.

Videoconferencing apps and platforms have become synonymous with “online classroom,” but most lack the capabilities that educators need to teach effectively – and securely. Students, families and teachers require solutions that go beyond video to reduce distractions, support critical thinking and drive collaboration. What’s more, they need a platform that prioritizes data privacy and security.

Workstorm’s digital collaboration platform, which integrates videoconferencing, email, file sharing and more, is built on scalability and security, which can streamline your school’s e-learning experience and let you focus on what’s important: Educating your students. Here are six requirements for your school’s digital collaboration platform.

1.  Privacy & Security

Whether in-person or virtual, the classroom should be free of distractions, including cyberattacks and privacy concerns. Students shouldn’t feel vulnerable sharing insights or asking questions virtually, and teachers shouldn’t have to worry about hackers infiltrating online classrooms.

Modern edtech platforms should put privacy and security first, with enterprise-grade encryption and all messages private by default. Platforms should also include a secure way to communicate with users outside the school environment, including parents or guest speakers.

2.  Video Recording

The best learning often occurs during active discussions. When students miss a day of school in a traditional classroom, they miss the important insights shared by teachers and peers. The ability to access video recordings ensures that all students are included in key lessons.

Students learning online should be able to access recordings of class discussions so that they can catch up on content they missed or review content for deeper understanding. Edtech platforms should enable teachers to record each class session and share them in an organized way, so that students can access them whenever and wherever they need to.

3.  File Sharing

In a traditional classroom, students may receive printed assignments or resources, such as study guides. Students learning online may receive similar types of documents, but in an electronic format.

No student should fall behind because they accidentally deleted a file or forgot where they saved it. File sharing makes it possible for students and teachers to access and send documents within the online classroom. Edtech platforms should allow students to easily share notes with each other, and the teacher to share feedback on assignments.

4.  Messaging

Whether in person or online, students and teachers should be able to collaborate seamlessly, without leaving the classroom. Students should be able to raise their hand to pose ideas and ask questions. They should also have the tools to express their thoughts in writing and read their peers’ insights within the classroom. This can help facilitate learning for students and improve their critical thinking skills.

Teachers should also be able to organize conversations by subject or classroom, providing a persistent and organized virtual space for students to connect and explore ideas together.

5.  Workspaces

While virtual students don’t travel to different classrooms, both online and in-person learners need a way to organize and separate  assignments for each class.

Teachers also should be able to digitally organize their classes, conversations and notes via an edtech platform. This can save instructors time searching for files or assignments, and keeps students organized and on top of their learning.

6.  External Collaboration

Keeping parents and guardians informed about their students’ progress is the key to their academic success. Children with engaged parents or guardians are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, graduate from high school, and pursue postsecondary education.

Most edtech platforms require parents to have a school system email address to contact teachers, creating a barrier to engage. Teachers should be able to reach all parents and guardians without friction through their edtech platform.

It’s Time To Think Beyond Video

K-12 edtech platforms need to start thinking beyond video capabilities if they want to meet modern e-learning challenges. Workstorm’s online collaboration platform empowers teachers and students to communicate more efficiently and stay connected, no matter where they are. Our platform enables teachers, students, guest speakers, parents and guardians to interact seamlessly over any medium, from video to messaging to email. Most importantly, privacy is at the core of Workstorm’s platform, protecting student and teacher privacy and ensuring that the right information reaches the only right people, every time.

Schedule a demo today to see how Workstorm can drive collaboration in your school.

About Workstorm

Workstorm enables teachers and other professionals to work productively, securely and privately through an all-in-one collaboration platform that combines videoconferencing, messaging, email and calendar, file sharing and custom integration capabilities. With enterprise-grade encryption, a commitment not to sell or share data, and a private-by-default communication model, Workstorm is trusted to boost productivity while protecting confidential data.

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