There are more educational technologies than you can use. ever. The users of #edtech apps vary; schools and districts subscribe, but also individuals subscribe. How should you request and receive support from #edtech companies?

Often #edtech apps have a freemium model where there is a free, but limited, version and a paid version with more features. Apps offer differing levels of support for different for each.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a self-serve library for paying and non-paying customers which includes information about a product, service, or topic. The knowledge base, or KB, is searchable with specific vocabulary from the app. A KB is likely updated for new versions, as new information is available. A KB is not live support; it is static and searchable but is helpful in some situations but not others.

The KB is the most helpful place for freemium users to seek help.

Help Desk

A help desk is an intake system, often ticket-based, to help paying customers to be productive in the app. A help desk can be staffed by people or use technology to route tickets to specific people to help. Tickets organize the date of a help request and allow the end-user and #edtech company the ability to follow the ticket throughout the process. Often #edtech companies require a ticket to assist the customer. The information generated by a ticket can also be helpful for a customer; if the time waiting for help is excessive, tickets also document the efforts of the helped desk agents, and these can be helpful to the end-user for understanding the status of the help.

The help desk is the most helpful place for paying customers to seek help.

Social Media

Often #edtech companies have active social media accounts. In the absence of (or instead of checking) a status page, people often go to the social media account of the #edtech company to search for support or outages. If you mention the #edtech company in a social media post they may respond to you. The most effective way to deal with the #edtech company is to politely request information. Different companies will ask you to take the conversation to direct messaging and this is a good sign they want to help, but aren’t interested in filling their feed with solving one issue. Resist the urge to flame the company! Many people leaving derogatory remarks will receive a reply, but it is not solution-focussed and wastes time on emotion over solution.

Social Media is the most helpful place to search for current status, but the least helpful for any customers to seek help.