Ensuring Product Viability


Digital pedagogy
Product management
Professional learning
User experience

Navigate the competitive educational landscape with key strategies for long-term success. 

Does your product have what it takes to survive in today’s competitive edtech landscape? With an average of 2,591 edtech tools accessed per school district during the 2022-2023 school year, the competition is fierce. It's not merely about providing the right support and resources, but also offering products that address diverse learning needs and varied instructional applications. 

Elementary teacher and her students using laptop during computer class at school.


Key Strategies for Long-Term Success

As former practitioners, we know what keeps educators and decision makers coming back to a product—we’ve seen it firsthand. If a product didn’t meet our needs, we’d move on or disengage. Educators simply don’t have the time to adapt their instructional practices to fit the constraints of a product or service. Therefore, the onus is on the product to adapt to the needs of education customers. Some strategies to consider include: 

  • Tailor your solution to address each district’s needs. No two districts are the same, but there are lots of problems and challenges they have in common. Districts are looking for solutions that recognize their unique context, from varying sizes and demographics to differing infrastructure and instructional needs. Are you describing your solution in terms of your customer’s challenges and needs? Tell the story of how your solution speaks to them. 
  • Differentiate for various program models. Acknowledge the diversity of educational environments with different program models and unique requirements. Ensure your product is adaptable to blended learning, virtual learning, hybrid learning, and various settings such as 1:1 environments and computer labs with implementation resources to support all of these. Consider developing materials and supports that are available both online and offline, such as math manipulative apps.
  • Promote interoperability. Given the wide range of devices, systems, and platforms on the market, schools favor products that integrate seamlessly. Build for single-sign on (SSO) and rostering through schools existing student information systems (SIS). Consider providing easy-to-follow integration guides, videos, and support resources for educators and school IT professionals. 
  • Evaluate and enhance accessibility. A truly viable product supports all learners, including those with diverse needs, by going above and beyond overlay tools. Conduct regular accessibility audits and seek user feedback to determine where improvements can be made. Consider providing easy-to-understand accessibility guidance to help educators better utilize the supports you provide. 
  • Ensure product security and data privacy. Security and data privacy are paramount concerns for schools. Implement robust security measures and clearly communicate your commitment to data privacy, adhering to legislation like COPPA, FERPA, and GDPR (if your product is used in Europe). Regularly conduct security audits of your product and consider taking a security-first design approach to its development. 

These are familiar problems for us having helped solve them for dozens of clients over the last two decades. We are committed to helping clients better align their products to the needs of education. Contact us today to explore how our expertise can ensure the long-term success of your product.