Does it Work? Will it Help Students? Is it Any Good?

It’s time for a better conversation about what works in education

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How can teachers know which digital tools actually work to improve student learning?
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Properly used, digital tools can help drive student engagement, encouraging “visible learning” and prevent students from tuning out instruction

1) We need better evaluation of digital tools

Static measurements can’t effectively evaluate dynamic, evolving tools. Richard Culatta of the US Department of Education (USDOE) noted that longitudinal research may take up to two years to evaluate an app, but by the time that research has finished, that app may have changed over 20 times.

2) We Need Better Ways to Find Out About Great Tools

Evaluating and building great products is important but teachers and parents need easy and accessible ways to find out what works. Just think about where you turn to find a great restaurant or doctor? Nearly 80% of US teachers believe “it’s at least somewhat difficult to find out about high quality educational technologies” and think schools could be purchasing more effective digital tools.

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Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want from Digital Tools, 2015

3) We need to help educators get the most out of digital tools

With textbooks, teachers need very little support from the publisher on how to use the books to enhance their instruction. Education technology changes the relationship between teacher and tool-provider and raises the bar for what infrastructure is required in schools for tools to work.

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Building better tools for teachers might involve edtech startups asking questions like these

SVP Product, @Pearson. Dabble in educ investing. Passion for turning ed into outcomes. Former teacher, principal, consultant & coder. History buff.

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