Revisiting a tech CEO on the digital transformation of education in these times.
INTERVIEW | by Victor Rivero
Last time we spoke, Michael Shoham (pictured, with trophies well-earned from The EdTech Awards), was passionate about technology, sports, music, and art—especially woodcraft and clay sculpture. Today, he’s still passionate about these areas—and he’s also still passionate about how vital digital devices are, even more so in these times. His company, Radix, empowers educational institutions with state-of-the-art management tools that keep device “fleets” healthy, secure, and optimally tuned to their mission. Here he provides an update to some of his earlier responses, and addresses some new areas as well, including a way through into the future, for schools.
What prompted you to originally get involved in the edtech sector way back when?
Radix started as an IT integration company in the field of training and education and with the years shifted to software development focusing on device management solutions.
‘There was an urgent need for online hybrid edtech solutions combining classroom management software, learning management systems and customized video conference platforms that will be easy to use.’
We identified the digital transformation potential of the training and education vertical, with a fast-growing number of digital devices used for teaching and learning purposes, require smarter and effective teaching, management and support tools.
What mission or purpose has driven you forward in the development of your products and services?
Our mission is to redefine device management and consolidate all devices, processes and stakeholders into one easy-to-use platform.
We enable users to increase instructional and administrative effectiveness, reduce operational complexity, and save time and money, making device management smarter and more focused.
What goes into the development of an edtech product or service?
Our many years of experience in technology for education made us familiar with the issue of technology in education and the difficulties to handle even minor issues during class which quickly become a big mess.
We have managed to come up with the tools that helped teachers to easily and effectively bridge the technical gap and helped the IT guys (always shorthanded) to effectively manage hundreds and thousands of devices anywhere they are – from the comfort of their own seat.
And most importantly, we listen to our customers and partners, collect insights and learn from them.
Having said that, we have foreseen the growing demand for distance learning in the training and education environment, and no doubt that COVID-19 made it relevant more than ever.
What highlights from your past inform your current approach?
Our experience taught us that even a small innovative technology company like Radix has a fair chance to make a difference and pave the road to industry giants. We just need to be aware of our customers’ needs and look to the future. Having said that, identifying a market shortcoming in time makes all the difference, we did that 6 times in the past 6 years and managed to fill the gap in a very innovative way.
The last time we did that was earlier this year when we launched TeacherView, our cloud-based distance learning platform, a hybrid solution combining classroom management, video conference with easy one-click access, allowing schools to support distance learning.
What does it mean to you to be honored with the Cool Tool Award for your solutions?
It means a lot, as it reassures our position in the market and most importantly what our customer and partner tell us on a daily basis.
What is technology’s role in education?
The main purpose of technology is to make our lives better and keep us safe. The same applies to technology in education, its role is to make it better by providing all stakeholders in the school ecosystem with effective instructional and administrative capabilities, enabling the creation of immersive learning experiences for the students.
Having said that, our cloud-based distance learning platform made a big difference for schools during this difficult time by allowing teachers to teach and students to learn remotely and have the same seamless experience of a traditional physical classroom environment virtually.
From your perspective, what is the state of education today?
The growing use of edtech made education accessible more than ever. Without extensive use of different edtech platforms, learning would not have been possible in the last 3 months.
In addition, as edtech enables the creation of immersive learning experiences, students are less required to memorize, else more to collaborate and analyze.
And finally, as technology drives the world forward, we see a bigger focus in STEM and to my opinion English as well.
What advice do you have for startups in the edtech sector?
* That you must think out of the box
* Not to be afraid to dare or take risks
* Provide the best service, no matter the cost
* Be honest and fair with your partners, customers, employees, and even with your competitors.
What sort of technologies are just around the corner that catches your interest – and why those?
The growing use of edtech creates new instructional and administrative needs, thus I would look for technologies that can enable better management of new digital devices that will be widely used in the school ecosystem and would require central administration by coordinators and IT admins.
In your opinion, how did the pandemic affect the training and education environment?
COVID-19 changed our world and challenged education and edtech more than even before.
As social distance became the new normal to keep us safe, the traditional frontal classroom experience known to all had to change.
In-class edtech tools for collaboration and classroom management were simply not enough and had to be replaced by online tools.
Overnight, schools went online, unprepared, using tools such as video conference platforms designed for corporate use, not for training and education environments.
‘Overnight, schools went online, unprepared, using tools such as video conference platforms designed for corporate use, not for training and education environments.’
There was an urgent need for online hybrid edtech solutions combining classroom management software, learning management systems and customized video conference platforms that will be easy to use.
This is where Radix innovative spirit kicked in by introducing a cloud-based distance learning platform, a hybrid solution combining classroom management, video conference with easy one-click access:
Providing educators with the tools to facilitate efficient collaborative distance learning in or outside the classroom.
Share your screen, video camera and whiteboard in lecturer mode or group collaboration, remotely monitor and assist students in real-time. Streamline the learning experience and keep your finger on the classroom pulse.
Allow teachers to teach and students to learn remotely and have the same seamless experience of a traditional physical classroom environment virtually.
VISO TeacherView brings the traditional classroom experience to teachers and students alike, making the impossible possible with a click of a button.
Anything else worth noting?
As part of our corporate and social responsibility to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 spread, TeacherView has been complimentary since March 2020 to help schools support distance learning.
Victor Rivero is the Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest. Write to: [email protected]