5 ed-tech solutions to eliminate teacher shortages

'The big problem is teachers don’t exist in the zip codes where teachers are needed'
By: | April 26, 2021
(Elevate K-12)
Shaily Baranwal

Shaily Baranwal

Adaptions many educators made to online learning during COVID hold a key—along with stimulus funds—to reversing the nation’s worsening teacher shortage, says one ed-tech CEO.

Elevate K-12 began live streaming certified teachers into classrooms several years before the pandemic turned education upside-down, CEO Shaily Baranwal says.

But like many issues education, teaching shortages disproportionately impact school systems with less affluent students, Baranwal says.

“The big problem is teachers don’t exist in the zip codes where teachers are needed,” she says. “Low-income districts have massive shortages.”

Elevate K-12 works with more than 200 schools in 15 states. Here’s how Baranwal says the company helps its district partners solve teacher shortages:

1. Some platforms work for online meetings but ...  Elevate K-12 created its own technology, which means its teachers don’t connect with their classes over platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams.

Baranwal also describes the platform as teacher-centric, rather than student-centric, in its ability to replicate the face-to-face classroom experience.

2. Teachers connect with in-person and online learners: Elevate K-12’s teachers stream into classrooms on a large screen but remote students can also join the feed.

3. All teachers are certified: All the company’s certified teachers are based in the U.S. Many are military spouses or residents of small towns who want to work school hours.

4. The company created its own curriculum: Elevate K-12 has created lesson plans so its teachers don’t have to. The company also works with district to align its curriculum to state standards.

5. Schools can offer a wider range of classes: Live-streaming allows districts to offer new classes, such as coding, computer science and gaming.

It also prevents districts from having to hire long-term substitutes when, for instance, there are no fourth-grade math teachers available.