Many educators are asking, “How do I find the tools that we can leverage to achieve our vision for the 2021-22 school year?”
Public education is seeing an unprecedented investment from the CARES Act and CRRSA to support equitable instruction and learning acceleration. Districts and schools have significant flexibility in how the funding is spent, which presents opportunities to tailor investments to meet unique community needs.
Education Stabilization funding can be used to purchase edtech that supports leaders’ vision for their learners and educators. With thousands of edtech products available, and many already in use in learning contexts, how can leaders determine which tools can support the transformation they hope to achieve for learners?
Look for intentionally designed edtech tools that are likely to support meaningful learning.
When edtech tools incorporate research about learning from the start, learners are the center of product design. These types of tools ground their solution in learning sciences to meet the realities that learners face. By investing stimulus funding into products that leverage the learning sciences, educators and schools are choosing tools that hold promise for learners. Below are some resources to help you find products that center learners in the design:
- The Research-Based Design Product Certification is awarded to edtech tools grounded in learning sciences research. The certification indicates that the product was designed based on research about learning to develop the most powerful learning experiences.
- The ISTE Seal of Alignment recognizes products that align to the ISTE Standards. The seal indicates that the resource provides high-quality, standards-aligned learning.
- The Edtech Evidence Exchange works with contextually relevant data to provide educators with information they can use to find tools that may be the right fit for their contexts.
Focus on edtech that was designed to prioritize learner agency and variability, and can support more equitable learning experiences.
Access to both devices and powerful learning experiences is essential to address the inequities COVID-19 highlighted across educational opportunities. It’s crucial to invest in edtech that intentionally supports learners disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and school closures. Our research has found that edtech designed to consider learner variability is a powerful lever to create more equitable learning opportunities.
- Edtech tools that have earned the Learner Variability Product Certification have been assessed by Digital Promise to verify that there are features that vary depending on learners’ strengths and challenges, support learners’ social and emotional needs, and can be adjusted by the learner themselves.
- The Edtech Equity Project provides guidance for schools to prioritize racial equity during the edtech evaluation and procurement process.
- The NCES Ed Tech Equity Initiative provides edtech equity data across relevant NCES studies to help education leaders make equitable decisions.
- The Educating All Learners Alliance provides a tech tool library that describes accessibility information for digital educational products.
Learners, educators, and communities know what they need best.
Funding is intended to provide integrated student support, which requires engaging the school community, including learners, educators, families, and caregivers, in designing strategic plans and visions for the long-term recovery of COVID-19. Learning and designing directly with those impacted by decision-making will ensure the most powerful plans are devised to support authentic needs. Below are resources to support creating and facilitating conversations with learners, educators, and communities.
- The Center for Inclusive Innovation provides frameworks for communities to engage in equity-centered education research and development.
- The Edtech Pilot Framework offers tools to facilitate conversations with educators and learners, which can also be a meaningful foundation to engage with caregivers and the broader school community.
- The National PTA’s Center for Family Engagement offers a toolkit to facilitate listening sessions with families in the community who haven’t traditionally had a seat at the table, among other resources to connect with community members.
Choosing the tools that have the highest potential for transformation and impact can be challenging. To learn more about Product Certifications, reach out to our team for support.