Empowering Education: How Technology Supports Better Student-Teacher Relationships

One of the major challenges in the distributed classrooms of the past few years is students feeling disconnected from teachers and peers. Being thrust into online learning without the proper tools caused social and emotional implications that students, parents, and teachers simply weren’t prepared for. The use of technology was widely blamed for the lack of student-teacher relationships. Unfortunately, students from elementary school to high school and beyond experienced learning loss as a result. 


Educators learned many lessons from the pandemic. Both students and teachers were forced to use tools they weren’t comfortable with during an unparalleled time filled with feelings of stress and anxiety, making it a poor environment to determine technology’s role in the classroom. For many, the misconception that technology prevents positive teacher-student relationships took hold, but we know this isn’t the case. Truthfully, learning online can help strong relationships form between teachers and students — if it’s implemented correctly. Research in this area bears that out. For example, a 2017 study showed that as long as teachers were able to engage students with technology, their relationship improved. 


Echo360 is here to help improve learning outcomes with the Echosystem: a product suite designed to place students, teachers, and administrators at its epicenter to facilitate personalized learning experiences. It’s all predicated on our proven e3 philosophy of equity, evidence, and engagement. We understand that student-teacher relationships are essential to helping students learn. Please continue reading to learn more about how our educator-designed software helps positive relationships form between your organization’s students and teachers! 


How do positive student-teacher relationships support learning?

Building positive teacher-student relationships requires buy-in from both parties, so it’s worthwhile to note how the relationship can improve learning outcomes before going any further. If students feel that their teachers genuinely care about them, they are more likely to respect the instructor’s authority and try their best even if they aren’t the most academic individual. Behavior issues are also mitigated by strong student-teacher relationships according to Robert Marzano in his book Classroom Management that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher. Students are more likely to accept rules, educational procedures, and even discipline if they like their teacher. 


At the same time, research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests that teachers teach more effectively when they have a good relationship with their students. This makes sense, as many high-impact teaching strategies linked to academic achievement require a lot of extra effort for teachers to implement and therefore are only used sporadically if at all in the typical classroom. When teachers genuinely like their students, they’re more willing to put forth that extra effort to help drive academic success. Perhaps more importantly, engaged teachers encourage students to engage back, contributing to their social development with benefits outside of the classroom. 



When you combine more effective teaching with more motivated students, it’s easy to see how a positive student-teacher relationship would lead directly to academic achievement. That’s why every school should be actively exploring how to facilitate an appropriate student-teacher relationship in every classroom. 


How can technology support positive student-teacher relationships?

While the benefits of positive teacher-student relationships are clear, the average classroom presents multiple obstacles that need to be overcome to realize them. Teachers are frequently responsible for many students at once, making it more challenging to develop a relationship with each individual. Likewise, students of high school age may have already decided that nothing academic is “cool” and resist the idea of opening up to an instructor. Behavior issues can also sour the relationship before students and teachers even get to know each other. 


Turning to educational software and other electronic tools can be a good way for teachers to overcome these obstacles and establish student-teacher relationships that will help everyone pursue their goals. Here are five ways technology can help improve the student-teacher relationship using the Echosystem of products as illustrative examples: 



Open lines of communication and collaboration between teachers and students

Many current online school interfaces lead to feelings of isolation among students, and many assume that it’s impossible to foster a positive relationship with a teacher they aren’t meeting in person. This assumption is false. A 2018 review of studies on technology impacts in the classroom found that tech actually improved collaboration between students and teachers


EchoEngage allows teachers to schedule live class meetings with tools such as threaded message boards and video chat to facilitate the same types of communication you would expect in a more traditional classroom. Better yet, virtual breakout rooms are available to facilitate collaboration between students and one-on-one time between teachers and students.

EchoEngage also supports active communication, allowing students to answer poll questions so teachers can check their conceptual understanding and reach out to anyone who might need extra help. Students can send confusion alerts to their instructors as well, promoting equity by enabling shy students to reach out for help without raising their hands. Students can participate in live polls through mobile phones or internet browsers to ensure universal participation and as many positive relationships as possible. 


When a classroom has asynchronous learners, it can be easy for those remote students to feel excluded. Fortunately, EchoVideo offers lecture capture, giving asynchronous students access to everything synchronous students experience. Since up to 90% of communication is nonverbal, teachers can take advantage of EchoVideo’s Universal Capture functionality to record live lectures instead of relying on audio alone. This way, students will be able to see the intricacies of the lesson.

Teachers should listen to their students

Feeling heard is essential to a student’s emotional well-being, but a good relationship won’t form unless teachers are paying attention to the data they’re receiving. The Echosystem offers opportunities for students to provide feedback on individual lessons and entire courses, making it easier for teachers to improve them in the future. If teachers explain how this information will be used, students will feel like their opinions mattered to them. Collaboration is also a vital component of the learning process, helping both students and instructors deepen their understanding of the curriculum. 


EchoEngage provides teachers with information such as real-time engagement scores that can be used to adjust lessons on the fly. If the entire class already understands inequalities or where energy comes from in marine ecosystems, nothing positive will come from wasting an entire day covering that material. Telling students that they’re ready to move on early will lead to self-confidence and a more positive relationship with their instructor. At the same time, live polling may identify class-wide weaknesses that must be addressed through remediation or self-paced assignments. Giving students ownership over how to address any learning obstacles may also improve their relationship with the instructor. 

Lesson plans tailored to a specific student

Some may see personalized instruction as something that’s only feasible in a one-on-one learning environment, and in some ways it is. However, teachers can look for ways to incorporate an individual’s preferred learning style or interests outside academics into lessons aimed at an entire class of children. The Echosystem can help teachers do this. 


For example, an instructor could use EchoEngage to administer a quick survey on the first day of school to better understand each learner’s interests. If several students report an interest in baseball, using baseball statistics to help them learn mathematics may make sense. If students are interested in a particular book, movie, or video game franchise, using it to discuss literary devices such as allusion and foreshadowing could work well. Either way, students will feel like their instructor is designing lessons specifically for them when multiple students are benefiting. That’s likely to lead to a good working relationship over the long term.

Most students will probably have unique answers and teachers can work with that too. EchoAuthor offers intuitive drag-and-drop course creation tools allowing instructors to easily create multiple self-paced assignments. If one student enjoys baseball, their teacher can create assignments with practice problems derived from last night’s scores to help them learn math. Alternatively, kids could be given open-ended writing assignments allowing them to choose which franchise’s characters to explore. Creating customized assignments can even help students focus on the learning styles they feel most comfortable with. Again, students will notice the effort their instructors are putting in and respond in kind.


Equity for every student

The traditional classroom tends to favor outgoing students who are eager to participate in class, often leaving more introverted students behind. Similarly, classroom teaching tends to rely heavily on lecture formats aural learners might get more out of than visual learners. Software like the Echosystem can address both of these concerns.


For instance, EchoEngage allows students to participate anonymously. Instructors can share responses with the rest of the class without revealing who provided them, frequently helping shyer students realize they weren’t the only ones who answered a question incorrectly or held an unpopular opinion. Not only can this promote equity in the classroom through greater participation, but it also builds trust between student and teacher as students realize their instructor has their back.  

Similarly, EchoEngage allows instructors to accommodate multiple learning styles. For example, a teacher could create a PowerPoint presentation with plenty of visual aids to help visual learners learn a concept while filming a classroom discussion to help aural learners study the same material. EchoVideo also accommodates multiple learning styles through ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) technology that transcribes all video content automatically. The video thus becomes searchable, and those transcripts can be edited by hand or turned into captions with captioning tools. Students can read along while listening to their instructor to activate multi-modal learning and drive superior academic outcomes or find the one part in the video they need to see again with a keyword search. Naturally, success goes a long way toward ensuring productive teacher-student relationships. 


EchoExam improves equity in the classroom as well. Teachers can instantly generate up to 26 versions of a test without altering its difficulty, ensuring that every student gets a fair chance to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

Never underestimate the positive power of a caring teacher

Tech has a vital role to play in the classroom, but some truths are universal when it comes to developing great teacher-student relationships. Teachers can start each meeting with kindness to model how they want students to behave. A simple, “Hello, how are you feeling today?” can be all that it takes to show students their instructor cares about their social and emotional development. In turn, students are likely to reciprocate and develop positive relationships with peers and school personnel. 


Children are smart, and they will be able to pick up on any favorites or least favorites even if the teacher never outright says anything about it. Therefore, instructors need to watch their tone when correcting a student’s behavior and provide the same information on completed assignments to all students. It doesn’t matter if students are meeting in person, attending virtual classes, or watching recorded meetings on EchoVideo: effective teacher-student relationships start when everyone is invested in academic success. 


Good relationships lead to positive feelings and better academic results

Teacher-student relationships are often an underappreciated aspect of the educational process but are essential if students are to learn to the best of their ability. Positive teacher-student relationships help students feel more comfortable in the classroom, making it easier to ask for help and focus on academic tasks. Positive relationships with students also help instructors avoid burnout and feel better about coming to work, giving them more energy to invest in their students. Everybody wins!


Some see technology like the Echosystem as an obstacle to the types of teacher-student relationships critical to classroom success, but they are either unaware of the capabilities modern solutions offer or convinced that the only quality education is the one they received years ago. A system like that developed by Echo360 places the social and emotional needs of students and instructors first, providing all of the tools needed to forge meaningful teacher-student relationships. We also leverage our extensive education experience to offer ideas on how to take full advantage of the tools we provide. 


We don’t want you to blindly trust that the Echosystem helps with student-teacher relationships though. See for yourself what the Echosystem could do for your school or organization. We look forward to helping you build stronger classroom relationships and better outcomes.

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I Want More Engaging Interactive Lectures in My Classroom

To learn more about how Echo360’s Echosystem can help you conduct more interactive lectures that truly engage each student’s attention, contact us today. We’re excited to share all the features of the Echosystem that can help.


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