School districts across the country have serious questions about the educational technology products used in their classrooms.

To try and answer these questions, schools can gain valuable information by piloting the product – trying it out in a low-cost way before making a big purchasing decision.

Digital Promise’s “Ed-Tech Pilot Report” looks at how innovative schools across the country try out, evaluate, and ultimately purchase the technology that ends up in the classroom. In partnership with the University of California-Davis School of Education, Digital Promise observed and surveyed district leaders, school administrators, teachers, and students as they worked toward a more formal system for piloting new products.

In addition to offering recommendations based on this research, we created multiple resources that educators can download and use as they pilot products in their own classrooms. These resources include a Pilot Planning Checklist, a Pilot Goals Worksheet, sample survey questions to gather students’ feedback on products, and more.

With this report, we offer the beginnings of a blueprint to help school districts everywhere develop a plan for piloting, collect relevant data, and make educated, evidence-informed decisions about whether to continue using the product.