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How to make sure your next learning tech purchase is not an old banger or a money pit



Purchasing new learning tech can be daunting. It’s not something which you purchase on a regular basis and the market is constantly changing. You need to think about all the practical things like what you’re trying to achieve, what will integrate with what, how easy is it to navigate and so on. On top of that, you’ll have the latest buzzwords and trends flying around, which can cause confusion because… well do you really need them?


Buying new learning tech is like purchasing a “big ticket” item in your personal life, such as a car or house. Although these items are important to us, we don’t necessarily have all the expertise to ensure we are making the right buying decision.

If we take buying a car as an example. You’ll by a car for several reasons, but one of the main reasons will be to travel from A to B. There are magazines, websites, blogs and adverts, which really wow us with the latest features, like being able to turn your music up by waving your finger at the stereo. These features are easy for us to understand as we’re able to compare them to what we do without them. However, when it comes to the fundamentals, like how reliable to car is in getting you from A to B, it becomes tricky. Most of us only know how to drive the car, we don’t know how it works under the bonnet. Would you buy a car with just your basic knowledge? What if you knew a mechanic or car expert, would you ask them for help? 


Let’s take buying a house as the next example, you find the properties you want to view, organise a viewing, meet the estate agent and look round the house. A good estate agent will point out the positives and, often, skim over the negatives. You may love the house, as it’s got everything you wanted on your list, but you’d still get a surveyor in the check the foundations. Why is that? You’re not the expert in house surveying and your estate agent hasn’t pointed out the cracks in the wall, but you’re investing a lot of money in something that you want to be standing in years to come. Therefore, that small, upfront investment is essential in reassuring you’re making the right decision before you sign on the dotted line. 


The same theories resonate with buying a learning platform. The majority of people have used them at varying levels, from being an end user to being administrators, but the minority have real expertise in this field. There are articles, blogs and companies which rate and review platforms, but do they really deliver true guidance? Companies can pay to be part of the review or sponsor events and so on, so are these channels really doing in-depth reviews or are just using the supplier’s information to tick a box and put them on a grid? Salespeople will always highlight the positives and play down the negatives, so it’s difficult to understand what will and will not work for your organisation. 


These are just two examples of “big ticket” items we purchase, where we rely on expertise to help us make the right decisions and get the most out of the money we’re investing. This shouldn’t be any different when purchasing a learning platform. If you have the expertise from the start, you’ll be more equipped to make the right choices for your organisation. 


The Learning Effect are experts in learning tech and can help you get under the bonnet so you can make the right choices for you and your organisation. Get in touch by emailing us: info@thelearningeffect.co.uk

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