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Limited Evidence in Edtech: Everyone Agrees – It Isn’t Their Fault

EdTech Efficacy Image

What works ought to drive what we put in front of our children.” – Jim Shelton, Head of Education, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative

Motivated by this shared belief, more than 275 higher education and K-12 district leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, policymakers, and educators gathered on May 3-4, 2017 in Washington, D.C. to address an essential question: How might we collaborate to ensure evidence of impact, not marketing or popularity, drives edtech adoption and implementation?

Leading up the symposium, 10 working groups spent nearly a year investigating barriers to creating and making better use of efficacy research in edtech - along potential opportunities for addressing such challenges. The papers reflect a desire to improve the availability of efficacy research and the need for new policies and better data to inform the more than $13.2 billion of annual spending on education technology and ensure the technology effectively supports teaching and learning.

The Role of Research in K-12 District Decision-Making

What reasoning and processes do district leaders use to select and deploy digital product? What, if any, types of data are used to support decision-making?

The Role of Research in Higher Ed Decision-Making

What factors and information sources influence decisions about educational technology acquisition and use in higher education?

Research Spending and the Most Popular EdTech Products

Of the most popular Educational Technology products/programs in Higher Ed and K-12, how many have been evaluated and by whom?

Evidence and Quality of Efficacy Research

Of the efficacy research being conducted on EdTech products, who is doing the research, what kind of research is it and what is the quality?

Institutional Competence in Evaluating Efficacy Research

What knowledge and competence do faculty members and leaders in educational institutions need to possess with respect to learning technologies?

Investors and Entrepreneurs

How do investors, developers, and established vendors define the effectiveness of products and value the evidence of such effectiveness?

Federal Funding for EdTech Research

How do school districts and schools make decisions for the purchase, adoption, and continued implementation of technology?

Education Philanthropies

What evidence are philanthropies gathering about the efficacy of education technology interventions?

EdTech User Voice

What role does student, teacher, parent, or other end user preferences play in technology decision-making with educational institutions?

Crowdsourcing Efficacy Research

What efforts are underway around the country to aggregate and share educational technology product reviews, analysis of pilots, and efficacy research?

 

 

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