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Using Technology to Transform the Student Experience: An Interview with Steve Campbell

August 24, 2022 | Tracie Hummel

When Steve Campbell founded EdIncites in 2015 he had one simple but powerful mission: to improve educational outcomes through great technology. Fast forward seven years and the Incite® technology platform has received recognition from some of the leading technology and education awards programs and associations, including Tech & Learning Magazine, the SIAA CODiE Awards and EdTech Digest. In 2021 EdIncites merged with Acceleration Academies, expanding its reach and furthering its ability to impact education.

We sat down with Steve to learn more about the state of technology in education, the ways it is transforming the student experience and what the future holds.

How can technology improve education in 2022?
When I walk around, I’m constantly amazed at the technological advances we are making each and every day. The iPhone has only been around for 15 years and yet it’s become central to our daily lives. The world we live in is tech-enabled. The question that’s constantly on my mind is “how can we create an educational experience that makes use of modern technology?” Students of tomorrow won’t be leafing through textbooks — they’ll ask Siri, watch a YouTube video or use some piece of technology that hasn’t even emerged yet.

How can personalized learning become a reality for all students?
Many of the students that we work with have disengaged from traditional K-12 for a number of reasons. In order to make the educational process as engaging as possible for these students, we must focus on removing the friction points in their way and creating interactive and relevant learning experiences. Using technology, we can dial in on a particular student and create engaging, personalized experiences based on what they know, what they need to know and their preferred learning style.

Why is relevant coursework important?
If we are still using materials that were created 30, 40, 50 years ago, shame on us. We have to work as hard as we can to give kids educational experiences that are engaging, relevant and interactive. Take our healthcare course as an example. Nearly all of the comparable healthcare courses on the market barely mention COVID. They’re outdated — they focus on polio, rubella and measles — diseases that are eradicated in our country. While these diseases are an important part of history and have taught us many lessons, why not incorporate COVID into modern healthcare courses? This approach will be much more relevant for today’s youth. It’s important to keep the content we use as current as possible.

How can technology support students facing non-academic barriers to success?
Educators rely heavily on the information that is stored in their systems. Most K-12 educators use a student information system (SIS), but the information stored in an SIS is largely demographic or academic. Attendance, grades, health and contact information and so on. Because of this, educators get a limited view into a student’s world. They see “Jaden did poorly on his math test.” What they don’t see is that Jaden’s mom is undergoing chemotherapy and he is responsible for taking her to treatment twice a week. Students everywhere just like Jaden face a multitude of non-academic barriers to success. At Acceleration Academies, we use technology to identify and manage these non-academic challenges.

Why is it important for students to have access to the best EdTech?
Because we live in a digital age, it’s natural that coursework would be largely digital. However, it’s critical that courseware is paired with an intuitive, modern delivery platform. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done on the Incite platform. It is the most advanced teaching and learning system on the market today. Bringing Incite into Acceleration Academies has been one of the most interesting applications to date. It’s a really fascinating intersection of application software and digital coursework, and it’s been thrilling to be part of the work!