Giving Compass' Take:

• In this EdSurge post, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt CEO Jack Lynch details his company's new Educator Confidence Report that emphasizes the importance of human connections in the classroom, even as technology gets more advanced.

• There is an emphasis here on using edtech to free up teachers' time so they can focus on student engagement more. What can nonprofits and funders do to support such efforts?

• Here's why demand is on the rise for accessible edtech design.

Today, demands on our teachers are greater than ever. Our report reveals that while educators are generally optimistic about the teaching profession, their concerns are deeply felt and set against a challenging national backdrop. Among the top concerns this year were school safety, funding and salaries, differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners and the implications of teacher accountability requirements. Teachers and administrators are seeking ways to balance a hopeful outlook with day-to-day challenges.

Just like in all areas our lives, it is natural to think about where and how technology can help. For years, we have been working to deliver the promise of technology in the classroom, and we have seen pockets of success. Still, more than half of educators (53 percent) worry that a focus on using technology for learning is coming at the expense of personal connections between students and teachers.

I believe that to truly realize the promise of education technology, we must focus on “purposeful technology” that extends teachers’ abilities — not replaces them. Technology that isolates children and dehumanizes the learning environment comes at a great cost to the student agency achieved through discourse and project-based learning. We need to focus on learning that is supported by technology, not mechanically mediated through technology. Indeed, I believe the following three ways purposeful technology can have a profound difference in the classroom.

Read the full article about making edtech more effective by Jack Lynch at EdSurge.