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Why Technical Support is So Critical for K-12 Online Learning

April 11, 2024

Online learning has become an integral part of the educational journey for millions of students across the United States, and it’s still a popular choice for many parents of K-12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12) children, even after the pandemic. The U.S. now has over 3 million K-12 students learning entirely online at home, and it is already spurring demand for everything from robust student support services to online tutoring. Yet, all of this depends on having reliable technology and infrastructure. When the digital classroom goes down, where can parents turn? Remedying technical issues as fast as possible is critical for student success and for the success of companies trying to tap into this market. Here’s why reliable tech support is so critical for K-12 online learning programs. 

The Rise of the Digital Classroom 

The K-12 segment is one of the fastest rising segments in the booming eLearning sector and is now a mainstay for many U.S. families that have chosen to do schooling at home. Online-only schools have become more popular since the pandemic, with over 30 states now offering some form of online learning for K-12 students.  

Homeschooling has also risen since the pandemic, with a 51% rise since 2019. Even the traditional homeschooled child often needs extra support. This may come in the form of online tutoring, virtual discussion groups or extracurricular activities, or online courses that help students prepare for standardized assessments.  

The eLearning market for K-12 is also lucrative. The shift towards 100% online learning, or a blend of in-person and online education for grades K-12, is something that is already a US$20 billion industry and is projected to rise to US$65.4 billion by 2030. In some cases, estimates go as high as US$144 billion! 

This education revolution will require everything from a reliable high-speed internet connection to a whole host of services that support online learning, such as virtual meeting apps like Zoom to specialized software that facilitate online coursework. It’s a booming industry, where the Edtech sector stands to gain impressive amounts of revenue.  

The Effect of Technical Issues on K-12 Online Learning 

For optimal learning outcomes, everything must work correctly. Educational organizations, private schools, and Edtech companies specializing in eLearning must deliver timely and efficient assistance. This is essential for ensuring overall student success. 

Research has shown that technical difficulties can significantly influence learning outcomes. In one study, online learners were invited to take part in a virtual training session where half of participants were unknowingly sabotaged with technical difficulties, in the form of error messages. The results showed lower test scores for those who were sabotaged, and an eight-point percentage increase in dropout or “attrition rates,” versus those who met no technical difficulties. 

Another survey revealed that one of the most common reasons for not using online learning or online tutoring programs is the prevalence of connectivity issues, whether it’s problems accessing specialized learning platforms or connecting to school servers. Three out of four online students said they experienced technical difficulties over the 2021-2022 academic year, leading to high levels of stress, which has been found to directly affect both student motivation and academic achievement. 

Why Prompt Tech Support is a Must 

While many parents may be able to troubleshoot simple issues on their own, unless they’re tech professionals, they will likely require help for more complex issues, someone with more experience and expertise in system and network configurations, as well as online education software. The reality is, those who receive prompt academic support are more likely to thrive in the online learning environment.  

If educational programs want to grow their student base, or if eLearning companies want to attract new enrollments, they need to prioritize and enhance their support services to meet the growing needs of students and families in K-12.  

How We Can Help You Prepare for September 

We can help you to prepare for the new school season, before the surge in family inquiries and enrollments, to ensure that your support services are scaled effectively in time for September.  

At itel, we are genuinely committed to a highly trained and engaged workforce. We are early adopters of cutting-edge technology and learning techniques that have garnered us a Stevie Award for Best Use of Technology. We understand the critical role of technical support in facilitating a seamless online learning experience and customize our hiring profiles to find those with either prior experience in the technology industry or expertise in dealing with technical issues.  

We are committed to helping students thrive in the digital classroom by providing the most comprehensive, on-brand customer support solutions, from tech support to customer care. 

Don't wait until the last minute. Take proactive steps now to ensure that your online education program is equipped to deliver the highest level of support. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with your organization.   

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