Q&A Wednesday with Liam Kaufman, Founder & Developer of Understoodit

Liam Kaufman, founder and developer of classroom interaction tool Understoodit, recently took the time to lend us his insights into the education technology industry.
Understood.it is an app that runs on smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks that allows students to anonymously, and in real-time, indicate if they understand or are confused, thus eliminating a student’s hesitation in saying “hey, I don’t get this” in a giant lecture hall.
Mr. Kaufman discussed the biggest ed-tech trend, greatest obstacle in adopting technology in education, and the future of the industry.  Check out the Q&A below.

What is the biggest trend in education technology that we should be watching?

I’m biased since Understoodit is a classroom interaction tool, but I think making classes and lectures more dynamic is something that technology can really help with. Ten years ago it was really hard to make a lecture with 200+ students interactive, now tools like Understoodit make it much easier. Even in smaller classes, some students would never put up their hand, or participate, technology has the power to let even the shy students participate.

If you could provide students nationwide with one education technology product, what would it be?

I’d say more generally I’d provide them with the tools to access newer technologies: internet and a computing device (tablet/smartphone/laptop). With that combination there are many interesting technologies that they could use.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles in adopting technology in the education space?

Money. Technology cost money and many school boards simply do not have the budget to invest in new technologies. However, the cost of technologies will most likely decrease over time as they mature, and hopefully more school boards will budget for technologies.

Name three companies to watch in 2012.

Kahn Academy, Coursera and Understoodit!

Where do you see education technology going in the next 5 years?

Technology will make personalized learning much more effective. It will hopefully become easier for teachers to not only spot students that are falling behind, or racing ahead, but to also provide them with an education that suites their level and learning speed. Hopefully education can move away from teaching the average student to teaching every student.

Thanks to Mr. Kaufman for his contribution!