Navigating the EdTech Landscape: The Transformational Journey of Dr. Stavroula Kalogeras

Dr. Stavroula Kalogeras serves as a Marketing Professor and MBA Programme Director for the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in Dubai. [SK1] [P2] In her dual role as an educator and administrator, she emphasizes the significance of technology’s impact on education and business. She believes that digital technologies are integral to the learning experience. As a marketing professor, Dr. Kalogeras notes that marketing has evolved into a digital profession, deeply intertwined with technology. She observes that the boundaries between marketing and technology, as well as teaching and technology, are increasingly blurred, highlighting their integration. We at EliteX, are proud to introduce Dr. Stavroula Kalogeras as one of the Transformational Leaders in EdTech, 2024.

Dr. Kalogeras was inspired to enter the field of educational technology due to the disruptive influence of new technologies on both traditional marketing and education. Her passion for these areas drives her to stay updated with technological advancements and incorporate them into her teaching strategies. This approach supports student learning, career development, and aligns with their expectations. In Kalogeras’s view, transformational leadership in education involves considering the lived experiences of all students and driving changes that enhance their educational journey. Additionally, transformational[SK3]  leaders are those who quickly adopt innovative technologies and teaching methods, ensuring their successful implementation within educational institutions. She believes that such leadership is crucial for the long-term sustainability of education systems. Dr. Kalogeras has witnessed significant changes in the education technology market over recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic notably accelerated the adoption of online learning, prompting educators to reevaluate their use of technology upon returning to the classroom. She stresses the importance of developing solutions that work well in both face-to-face and online environments, while staying informed about new technologies and practices.

“The future of education depends on an ongoing dialogue between educators, educational institutions, and tech professionals. It’s imperative to embrace innovation to empower transformation.”

As a leader in educational pedagogy, Dr. Kalogeras has made substantial contributions to research and practice, particularly in transmedia edutainment and storytelling. She views storytelling as an ancient human technology that intersects with modern educational technology. By integrating fun and engaging experiences, such as social media and streaming apps, into learning, she believes education can be both enjoyable and effective. Dr. Kalogeras identifies the need for ongoing professional development as a key challenge in integrating technology into education. Both educators and students would benefit from continuous training to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Proper preparation enables educators to use technology to foster critical thinking, teamwork, and creativity in the classroom. Additionally, students should be educated on the best practices and policies for using technology.

Dr. Kalogeras prioritizes user experience and accessibility by advocating for Universal Design (UD). This approach aims to make products and environments usable for as many people as possible. By applying UD principles, such as providing multiple means of representation, action, and expression, she ensures accessible learning experiences with educational technology. To ensure inclusivity in EdTech initiatives, she [KS4] [KS5] [KS6] [P7] employs strategies based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This framework promotes a student-centered approach, creating a flexible and welcoming classroom environment. By making the curriculum accessible to all students and encouraging them to set their own learning goals, UDL allows students to become experts in both the content and their individual learning processes.

Dr. Stavroula Kalogeras keeps herself updated with the latest trends and innovations in educational technology by continuously researching advancements in technology, evidence-based pedagogy, pop culture, and current events. She believes that integrating this information into lessons makes them more relatable, enjoyable, and conducive to experiential learning. Dr. Kalogeras highlights the importance of collaboration between traditional education institutions and new partners such as technology companies and consultancy firms. One notable collaboration [SK8] that she mentions was with Cesim: Business Simulation Games. Cesim provides multilingual, multidisciplinary business simulation games that enhance student engagement and promote learning by doing. These partnerships aim to achieve the common goal of providing quality education. Dr. Kalogeras acknowledges that it takes time to accurately measure the impact of EdTech products on student learning outcomes. In the short term, she relies on faculty feedback to assess student engagement and incremental improvements. This feedback helps in understanding the immediate effects of technology on learning.

“As someone passionate about both marketing and education, it is necessary to stay abreast of technology and include it in pedagogical strategies and practice, supporting student learning and career development.”

Dr. Kalogeras envisions a transformative role for emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) in the future of education. These technologies offer personalized and immersive learning experiences. AI can automate tasks such as feedback and grading, allowing educators to focus on relationship-building and mentorship. However, she stresses the importance of addressing ethical and equity issues and ensuring that these technologies are accessible to all students. Dr. Kalogeras emphasizes the importance of data privacy and security in EdTech. Protecting the personal information of learners and educators from unauthorized access is a crucial ethical responsibility. She advocates for compliance with data protection regulations, robust security measures, regular security audits, and education for learners and staff on best practices. Regular software updates and using secure hosting services are also vital in safeguarding sensitive data.

For aspiring leaders in the EdTech industry, Dr. Kalogeras advises embracing technology to enhance teaching and learning. She encourages participation in professional development, staying open-minded, and being flexible. Successful EdTech leaders are those who experiment with new ideas and technologies, constantly seeking what works best. A passion for using technology to its fullest potential is key to thriving as an educator in this new era.

Dr. Kalogeras envisions a future where education is driven by transformative leadership in EdTech. She believes that an open mindset and ongoing dialogue between educators, educational institutions, and tech professionals are essential. Embracing innovation will empower transformation, ultimately shaping a dynamic and effective educational landscape.

“Transformational leaders in education are quick to try innovative new technologies, teaching methods, or processes; and they are the changemakers that ensure the adoption and success of these innovations within their schools and institutions.”