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#ShowTheEvidence: Building a Movement Around Research, Impact in EdTech

By: AUBREY FRANCISCO, BART EPSTEIN, GUNNAR COUNSELMAN, KATRINA STEVENS, LUYEN CHOU, MAHNAZ CHARANIA, MARK GROVIC, RAHIM RAJAN, ROBERT PIANTA, AND REBECCA GRIFFITHS

This is the first in a series of essays surrounding the EdTech Efficacy Research Symposium, a gathering of 275 researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs, professors, administrators, and philanthropists to discuss the role efficacy research should play in guiding the development and implementation of education technologies. This series was produced in partnership with Pearson, a co-sponsor of the symposium co-hosted by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, Digital Promise, and the Jefferson Education Accelerator.

To improve education in America, we must improve how we develop and use education technology.
 
Teachers and students are increasingly using digital tools and platforms to support learning inside and outside the classroom every day. There are 3.6 million teachers using edtech, and approximately one in four college students take online courses — four times as many as a decade earlier. Technology will impact the 74 million children currently under the age of 18 as they progress through the pre-K–12 education system. The key question is: What can we do to make sure that the education technology being developed and deployed today fits the needs of 21st-century learners?
 
Our teachers and students deserve high-quality tools that provide evidence of student learning, and that provide the right kind of evidence — evidence that can tell us whether the tool is influencing the intended learning outcomes.
 
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