COVID-19 Calls for Edtech Accountability - Digital Promise

COVID-19 Calls for Edtech Accountability

A child uses a tablet with many apps to choose from

April 9, 2020 | By

At Digital Promise, we value educators’ work and expertise. Educators inspire us as they continue to serve students through online learning. Educators are the reason we embarked on a journey to develop product certifications last year and the drive behind our urgency to co-develop product certifications now. We want to make it easier for educators to find the high quality content students need.

Educators often tell Digital Promise that figuring out which edtech tools will support their learners and sifting through the enormous marketplace without any criteria has felt like an impossible task. Similarly, we’ve heard edtech developers explain their many challenges trying to differentiate their product from others on the market with no clear guidelines or third party indicators.

With COVID-19 changing education at rapid speeds, we have a chance to address these challenges seen across the edtech market by creating educator-driven criteria to indicate which products support the full diversity of learners through distance and online learning.

A Matter of Urgency

This spring, with little notice, educators across the United States completely adapted the way they’ve taught for decades to an online-only environment. Incredible educators rose to the occasion at superhero speeds, researching and asking colleagues for advice where they could and inventing solutions where they needed to.

Along with this wave of action has come an unwavering dedication to discovering and selecting edtech products that support learning.

Our goal is to create a second certification (check out the Research-Based Design certification) to minimize the time educators spend sifting through, reviewing, and asking around for edtech recommendations. To do this well, we invite educators to share their expertise to set meaningful criteria for the certification.

Creating Edtech Accountability

Before COVID-19 shook our society and education system, educators from around the country collaborated with Digital Promise to share what they needed to see from edtech products to trust that they would support the full diversity of learners in their classrooms, schools, and districts. We heard that edtech:

  • Must support educators in driving individualized or personalized learning for each student through data, diagnostics, and/or dashboards;
  • Must be easy to use and relevant to the appropriate ages and groups of learners, such as English Learners, students with disabilities, thriving students, and so on; and
  • Must help students see incremental growth and learning, among several prioritized criteria.

Join Educators in Setting the Criteria

Establishing product certifications will not only help educators find high-quality learning resources, but will also guide edtech product developers in creating the most useful digital tools for students–something we need now more than ever. Drive this work forward by sharing your expertise here.

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