Challenges are Hurdles to be Overcome

What drives growth and innovations in education, and by extension, the corporate learning environment? There are three: worldwide education challenges, the pandemic, and process automation and digitization.

Education Hurdles

Education is full of challenges. Budget, accessibility, educational quality in remote or underserved areas are just some of the many obstacles to success. While these realities could be considered problems, they’re actually opportunities that edtech/technology startups are poised to solve.

Problems give way to solutions by creating opportunities for tech businesses.


The global pandemic and post-pandemic recovery caused a growing demand for educational technology, tools, and services.

Over 1 billion students around the globe were affected by school closures. The sudden loss of face-to-face instruction possibilities left many institutions scrambling for the right solution that would allow them to continue teaching while maintaining strict adherence to safety protocols. Remote learning was the key and companies that specialed in this brand of edtech have seen a growth explosion.

Automation and Digitization

Digitizing and automating processes creates measurable efficiencies and optimizations and improves the overall end result. It’s common sense. A computer can do repetitive “build” tasks faster and more accurately than a human being can. This real-world need for automation and digitization has allowed for EdTech solutions to advance in both education and corporate sectors. For example, content delivery through Codecademy or Masterclass; video-conferencing through Zoom or MS Teams; and education analytics through BrightBytes or Civitas Learning.

Education Technology is constantly rising up to meet the challenges of a modern world that has been thrown into varying degrees of chaos. These challenges are hurdles to be overcome and EdTech has so far met or exceeded them all.


Edtech – The Future of Business

The education market is a consistent first adopter for new learning technologies, and it has a long history of vetting new learning technologies long before they reach the corporate environment.

Case in point, the LMS. In 1990, SoftArc created the first LMS as a tool for classrooms. And that really hasn’t changed…the largest LMSs are all designed with education in mind. It took nearly 10 years before LMSs began to be adopted by corporate L&D departments. In the late 1990s, corporate learning departments took what was designed for the classroom and developed it into specific LMS systems specifically designed for corporate training.

So if you want to know what trends corporate L&D can expect to encounter in the next few years, look no further than what the current trends are in edtech.


At the top of the list is AI. While this technology is already being used across many businesses, it has yet to gain significant traction in L&D. But in education, it’s a different story. Edtech solutions are increasingly leveraging AI to drive learning efficacy and personalization, and offer automation that eases instructional burdens. For example:

As AI becomes more pervasive in education and other businesses, it’s only a matter of time, and money, before L&D will begin to explore what they can do with the technology within corporate training.

Interactive Video and Social Learning

Educators are also embracing new interactive video platforms and technologies that enable social learning. Due in part to the acceleration the current pandemic has caused in the evolution of remote learning, these tools combine all the learning benefits of video with the engagement benefits of discussion, collaboration, and self-direction. With these platforms, rather than passively watching a piece of content, learners can actively participate – posing and answering questions, commenting, and discussing the content with their peers and instructors all the way. Here are just two examples of interactive video tools at work within the education space:

AR and Voice

While still largely on the fringe in corporate training, AR and voice technologies are beginning to gain traction in education. Educators are using this unique technology to better explain abstract concepts and engage students where they’re often most engrossed – their smartphones. Additionally, colleges and schools are using voice technology, like Amazon’s Alexa, to improve student engagement and, in turn, success rates.

If you’d like to learn more about these new ways edtech is being utilized in the corporate world, or would like information on how Teach Smarter can help your business, please contact us.

Teaching Teachers

We should always be thinking about how we deliver professional development versus how we’ve delivered it historically. Some say that most of the current professional learning is generic and doesn’t help teachers with subject or content pedagogy. Too often when budgets are tight, professional learning and innovation are the first cuts in school systems. It’s unfortunate because teachers working with students every day are vital. Let Teach Smarter help bridge the gap between your school’s fiscal realities and the need for professional development.

Contact us at to learn more.

SMART Board Cleaning and Care

As school begins in earnest around the country, you may be wondering how you clean and disinfect a SMART Board or some other flat panel display. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this probably wasn’t as big a concern as it certainly is now. Happily, the procedure isn’t all that complicated.

Before cleaning, please make certain that you:

  • Do not use any type of marker on the screen. If you accidentally use something like a dry-erase marker, remove the ink as soon as possible with a lint-free, non‑abrasive cloth.
  • Do not rub the screen with dense or rough material.
  • Do not apply pressure to the screen.
  • Do not use cleaning solutions or glass cleaners on the screen as they can deteriorate or discolor the screen.
  • Avoid touching the reflective tape between the screen and the frame and ensure that this strip stays dry. Damage to this strip affects touch interactivity.

*According to SMART, generally, it is best to use only a cloth slightly dampened with distilled water to clean your SMART Board and never spray liquid directly onto the surface.

The best way to clean and disinfect your SMART Board, and which has been approved by the folks at SMART, is to use a diluted bleach solution.

To mix the correct solution, using standard household bleach at a strength of 5% Sodium Hypochlorite:

  • 4 tsp. of bleach per quart of distilled water
  • 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of distilled water

Adjust accordingly to maintain the 0.1% solution if you’re using bleach stronger or weaker than 5% Sodium Hypochlorite. SMART recommends using a spray bottle for applying the solution to the cloth to avoid over-saturating it. Test a small, inconspicuous area before you clean the entire surface. 70 – 90% isopropyl alcohol comes pre-diluted and no mixing is required. For concentrations above 90%, dilute accordingly with distilled water.

Once you have the solution in a spray bottle, then:

  1. Make sure you have two lint-free, non-abrasive cloths.
  2. Turn off any connected computers.
  3. Turn the display off. Go to and find your specific model for instructions.
  4. Wipe all surfaces with the first dry lint-free, non-abrasive cloth to remove dust and debris.
  5. Gently spray a small amount of the water or cleaning solution on the second cloth.
    Note: Do not oversaturate the cloth to the point it is dripping.
  6. Wipe the screen with the dampened cloth.
  7. After wiping the screen, wipe off the remaining SMART Board surfaces that can be normally touched, such as the frame, pens, and other accessories.

Once done, your SMART Board will be clean and disinfected and ready for use.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Teach Smarter at

COVID and the Classroom

Technology use in the classroom

Educators certainly know the coming school year will be different. Often, change is forced upon us whether for good or ill. Whether students will fully return, becoming hybrid learners, or stay strictly online has yet to be determined for mos school districts. Plans are certainly in place, but much like the coronavirus, we don’t yet know what we don’t know. Things are fluid. One thing is certain, however. Technology will be playing a much larger role in the classroom than it every has.

I found this article from to be particularly interesting. Have a look and see what you think.

As always, if you have questions, are in need of training, or consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Teach Smarter.

Education and Technology in the Next Academic Year

Coronavirus and the Rise of the EdTech Industry — Observatory of ...The role of classroom education is definitely shifting. It was changing before COVID-19 and most certainly will look different in the next academic year even when schools reopen. Many states have adopted approaches that fit the needs facing students, parents, and teachers today. With a whole summer of preparation, the coming “blended” classroom that will no doubt take shape will look even different. Teachsmarter became involved in the idea of a blended classroom in 2012/13 when in partnership with the Global Online Academy we taught and co-developed the Online Learning Environment Series of professional development courses for 6-12 and higher education faculty. In this three-part series of courses, faculty learned how to implement a blended model of instruction and examine best practices in teaching online that can be applied directly to brick and mortar classrooms. They compose the backbone of the GOA professional development program. Participants that complete the entire series receive GOA’s Online Learning Environments Certification.

If you have questions or concerns as a parent, student, or teacher about what may be coming or how you can best prepare for the new blended classroom reality, please don’t hesitate to reach out at

Learning Management Systems…But Which One???

Challenges And Benefits Of Learning Management Systems - eLearning ...
In today’s ever changing educational environment, and with the increasing emphasis on at-home learning, you might be asking yourself, if you’re a teacher, which Learning Management System (LMS) is best for me and my school? The huge array of available LMS is staggering and daunting. Teachsmarter has vast experience with Seesaw, Google Classroom, Moodle, Blackboard, and more. But those are a small sampling of available options. The website has collected a large list of available LMS packages. If you’d like help deciphering what might be best for you, your school, and your students, please don’t hesitate to reach out at!