EdTech Evidence Exchange

EdTech Genome Project Advisory Board will bring insights from a diverse cross-section of institutions [including Harvard Graduate School of Education, LEAP Innovations,  and RAND] to bear on edtech implementation research.

December 12, 2019 – The EdTech Genome Project today announced the appointment of a  28-member Advisory Board that will support its efforts to help educators make better-informed decisions about selecting and implementing technology tools that will work well in their contexts, and why. Composed of academic researchers, association leaders, impact investors, union leaders, and philanthropic organizations from around the country, the advisory board will provide ongoing strategic guidance to project leaders as they work to identify and measure the variables that impact edtech implementation. This group joins the initiative’s Steering Committee, composed of 30 education leaders and practitioners, and its Industry Council, through which more than two dozen edtech companies and investors are contributing to the project.

“The challenge of implementing edtech effectively can only be solved by a collaborative effort that brings together the leading voices in research, advocacy, and technology — not to mention educators themselves,” said Erin Mote, an Advisory Board member, and the Executive Director and Co-Founder of InnovateEDU. “By convening these groups and facilitating constructive dialogue and debate, the EdTech Genome Project is answering a critical need in the education ecosystem.”

Launched this fall by the nonprofit Jefferson Education Exchange, the EdTech Genome Project is designed to address a critical collective action problem in education technology. Each year, educators and school administrators spend more than $13 billion on more than seven thousand technology tools and products. A growing body of research suggests, however, that the vast majority of these edtech tools are either a poor fit for a particular school, or are not implemented effectively. Because there is no system through which educators can report the results of their implementations, billions of dollars continue to be wasted on tools and products that do not meaningfully improve student outcomes — despite the best of intentions by educators, school and district leaders, and other stakeholders.

“There’s nothing more powerful than an accomplished teacher with access to the best tools. For too long though, educators and school leaders have operated without a clear framework to understand how best to choose and implement technology that fits in the classroom and actually elevates great teaching and learning,” said Peggy Brookins, CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and an Advisory Board member. “We’re excited to help the EdTech Genome Project create a framework with the potential to get the right tools to the right practitioners — and fulfill the promise of technology to help students succeed.”

With support from philanthropic and social impact organizations including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Strada Education Network, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, the EdTech Genome Project recently opened a public comment period to identify up to ten contextual variables associated with edtech implementation success or failure, including school culture, support from school and district administration, and teacher agency. Once the variables have been determined, the project will convene national working groups to determine how these variables can be measured and quantified most effectively.  The project is directed by a 30-member steering committee made up of leaders from education and research organizations including ISTE, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, Gallup, and the American Institutes for Research, as well as teachers and technology leaders from seven public school districts across the country.

“We’re tapping the insights of a diverse group of education leaders to tackle the field’s most pressing collective action problem,” said Bart Epstein, president and CEO of the Jefferson Education Exchange and a research associate professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development. “The advisory board brings together some of the most influential voices in education to ensure that our efforts reflect the needs and priorities of educators and researchers around the country.”

The EdTech Genome Advisory Board roster currently includes:

  • Thomas Arnett, Senior Research Fellow, Christensen Institute
  • Ryan Baker, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
  • Peggy Brookins, Chief Executive Officer, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Eric Brown, Executive Committee, National Education Association (NEA)
  • Tonika Clayton, Managing Partner, New Schools Venture Fund
  • Patrice Dawkins-Jackson, Director, Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Programs, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • David Irwin, Executive Director, District Administration
  • Eric Isselhardt, President and Acting Chief Executive Officer, NNSTOY
  • George Kane, General Manager, Education Ventures, Emerson Collective
  • Tom Kane, Economist and Walter H. Gale Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Chris Liang-Vergara, Chief Learning Officer, LEAP Innovations
  • Christopher Mazzeo, Director, Center for Research, Evaluation and Analysis, Education Northwest
  • Michele McLaughlin, President, Knowledge Alliance
  • Erin Mote, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Innovate EDU
  • Dean Nazfiger, Vice President, Westat
  • Jennifer Norford, Chief Program Officer, Marzano Research
  • Ronn Nozoe, Interim Executive Director, ASCD
  • Leila Nuland, Managing Content Director, Hanover Research
  • Lynn Olson, Consultant, Former Deputy Director of K-12 Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • John Pane, Senior Scientist, RAND
  • Beth Rabbitt, Chief Executive Officer, The Learning Accelerator
  • Ron Reed, Founder & Executive Producer, SXSW EDU
  • LaVerne Srinivasan, Vice President of National Program, Program Director for Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Kimberly Smith, Executive Director, League of Innovative Schools, Digital Promise
  • Bill Tally, Senior Research Scientist, Center for Children and Technology, Education Development Center (EDC)
  • Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, The School Superintendents Association (AASA)
  • Richard Varn, Distinguished Presidential Appointee, Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • Rob Weil, Director of Field Programs, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)



About Jefferson Education Exchange 

The Jefferson Education Exchange is a nonprofit public charity committed to bringing educator perspectives to bear on edtech procurement and research. Supported by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, the Jefferson Education Exchange’s work centers on research and development to guide the design of research protocols and tools that will enable educators to document and share their experiences with education technology products. Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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