The new report shows growing momentum for evidence-building and sharing but solution providers and their partners need to collaborate more to standardize research-driven best practices
LearnPlatform by Instructure, renowned for its innovative edtech effectiveness system and publisher of the highly anticipated "EdTech Top 40" report on the usage of K-12 digital educational products, today released its inaugural “EdTech Evidence Mid-Year Report.” The report is the first look into how the 100 most accessed learner and educator-focused solutions in districts, schools and classrooms stack up across the U.S. based on key domains including privacy, interoperability, federally-aligned evidence, and other indicators. Overall findings show growing momentum for providers to make their research publicly available.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) mandates that federal funding be used for evidence-based interventions, defined as those with at least a logic model demonstrating a rationale, to one or more studies meeting promising, moderate or strong evidence requirements. With thousands of edtech solutions in the K-12 marketplace, state, district and school leaders are working hard to identify tools that are safe, interoperable, compliant with regulations and policies, and eligible to be purchased under the law. Additionally, educators are working with providers to build and share evidence of edtech solutions that are most effective for their students within and across their specific situations and context.
One of the key findings from the report shows that more than a quarter (25%) of the most accessed K-12 edtech solutions publicly share and meet ESSA-aligned requirements. Nearly 40% of the digital tools share some research.
“Education leaders are seeking the edtech solutions that meet federal, state, and local requirements to manage an overwhelming set of options and make informed decisions to continuously improve teaching and learning,” said Karl Rectanus, co-founder of LearnPlatform, and SVP of K-12 Strategy at Instructure (LearnPlatform joined Instructure in December 2022). "With tech-enabled learning here to stay, understanding which tools are effective, interoperable, compliant, accessible, and safe are table stakes. While not ubiquitous, this report indicates that the use of evidence is taking flight across education.”
The LearnPlatform team of researchers analyzed new data on more than 11,000 edtech products based on the engagement of 2.8 million students and over 320,00 educators. Analysis was cross-referenced across LearnPlatform’s comprehensive system of edtech evidence, publicly available information on provider websites including, Google Scholar, and certifications and badges from respected associations and organizations including Common Sense, Digital Promise, ISTE, 1EdTechand Project Unicorn.
The findings also indicate that there is still considerable work to do in verifying the effectiveness of many highly used education products. Of the 26 solutions with published, ESSA-aligned research, only nine have studies with promising (ESSA Level III) or above available. The data shows that having (and/or sharing) ESSA-aligned research is not the norm, even for established, well-known edtech solutions.
While recent trends point to more states and districts asking for or requiring ESSA-aligned evidence when purchasing, implementing, or renewing education solutions, doing so is not yet universal practice.
“Understanding how, where and whether edtech solutions are effective and for whom, is getting easier, but practical, rigorous evidence-building is not easy or the norm yet,” Rectanus concludes. “ By standardizing evidence-building and sharing, we will unlock the potential for every teacher and student to learn together and thrive.”
For more information or to download the full Edtech Evidence Mid-Year Report, please visit learnplatform.com/evidence-report.
To learn more and hear from other trailblazing evidence-driven education organizations, stop by LearnPlatform’s Evidence Pavilion at the Convention Center Expo Hall during SXSWedu in Austin, TX from March 6-9, 2023. For the calendar of activities at the conference, please visit learnplatform.com/sxswedu.
LearnPlatform is now part of Instructure, an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. With a commitment to expand equitable access to all students, LearnPlatform’s comprehensive edtech effectiveness system and evidence-as-a-service solutions of the same name are used by educators, leaders and their partners to modernize their learning environments and drive academic and financial return on their investments. The research-based technology equips school districts, state agencies, philanthropic organizations and providers to ensure their edtech interventions and investments are safe, equitable, cost-efficient and effective for all students. For more information, visit learnplatform.com.
Instructure (NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world. Learn more at www.instructure.com.