How do Effective Education Tools Differ from the Gimmicks?

In our last blog, we saw how technology tools help improve the learning experiences for children.

However, there are a plethora of learning apps and games accessible to educators and parents today. Naturally, it becomes confusing for them as to which ones actually help improve learning for kids. Are all of them equally effective, and more importantly, what results can we expect from them?

In this blog, we explore the available research over the years and the ones we have done during Magrid’s development to figure out the factors which make an educational tool genuinely effective.

Teachers, education administrators, and even parents should keep these in mind when onboarding the next educational tool for their kids, or even evaluating the usefulness of the ones they currently use.

Based on Sung’s (2016) research, as well as other researchers’ investigations and experience, an education technology solution should do at least the following things to be truly effective:

  1. Leverage the pedagogical potential of EdTech by having a solution tailored to each child’s learning goals and abilities. 
  2. Integrate the device, software, pedagogical content, and teacher support
  3. Provide immediate and comprehensive feedback and analytics
  4. Facilitate teacher training for mobile-enhanced education

Now, let’s dig deeper into each of the individual factors.


  1. Leverage the pedagogical potential of EdTech through the intentional integration of capabilities and targeted learning outcomes   

Technological devices have various distinctive features, such as individualized interfaces, real-time access to information, context sensitivity, instant communication and feedback capabilities, and endless others.  To be truly impactful, EdTech should be intentional about using these features to address specifically identified pedagogic challenges.

Defined instructional strategies or learning outcomes should be identified, and the unique features of the devices should be wielded to target these outcomes effectively. If this is not done, then the true potential of EdTech is not unlocked, and many benefits are lost.  

    2. Integrate the device, software, pedagogical content, and teacher support 

Researchers have emphasized that to achieve the maximum impact of education technology and overcome many of the associated challenges, a synthesis between the technology, the educational content and mission, and the users is essential.     

In other words, to be truly effective, the EdTech solution should not include only the stand-alone technological device. Instead, it should comprise a complete teaching program supported by tool-specific teacher training and ongoing support. EdTech that lacks quality, targeted content, adequate support, and a long-term outlook will likely have a feeble and short-lived impact.

    3. Provide immediate and comprehensive feedback and analytics

One of the powerful advantages of EdTech is its capability to provide thorough and accurate information about a student’s learning progress. These insights can be used to: 

  • facilitate and finetune the learning process;
  • detect learning obstacles and difficulties quickly; and 
  • reduce the teachers’ workload.  
  • provide valuable insights for schools and institutions

If the technology is not harnessing these capabilities to the fullest extent, we are drifting in a sailboat without a sail.  


    4. Facilitate teacher training for mobile-enhanced education

An overwhelming amount of research has highlighted that one of the most significant obstacles to implementing effective mobile learning programs is insufficient preparation of the educators. 

Teachers need to be empowered with an understanding of how best to integrate EdTech with the lesson content, the teaching methods, and the educational goals. Increased knowledge and experience with the tool/solution will promote their autonomy in its implementation and enable them to achieve the most impactful results. 

As such, EdTech should come hand-in-hand with tool-specific training for the teachers who will be using it.


Education technology has a decisive role to play in the classroom. However, to be truly effective, the right EdTech needs to be used.

Technology that:

is not based on excellent teaching material;
is not closely integrated with goals and learning outcomes;
fails to harness analytics capabilities; and
is not backed by ongoing teacher training and support,

is likely to be useful only to keep students busy without truly being a powerful teaching resource.