PRESS RELEASE: Virginia Department of Education’s Office of STEM and Innovation Joins National Effort to Figure Out What EdTech Works Where, and Why

Educators across the state will document their experiences with technology through a public-private initiative launched by InnovateEDU’s EdTech Evidence Exchange

January 24, 2023 – Richmond, VA – The EdTech Evidence Exchange (the Exchange), a nonprofit  recently merged with InnovateEDU and associated with the University of Virginia, is partnering with the Virginia Department of Education’s Office (VDOE) of STEM and Innovation to help educators across the Commonwealth share data about what technology works, where, and why. As the first state to join the 2023 cohort, VA will enable its educators to share insights through the EdTech Evidence Exchange Platform, a data collection and display tool that documents educators’ contexts and experiences using mathematics education technology (edtech).

“Since COVID, many of our school divisions have new 1:1 computing device programs, often allowing students to take devices home, but we are unsure about how students are learning with educational technology when not in school. Our infrastructure has expanded but we have the larger question of what the strategic vision is for remote learning and what the impact is on teaching and learning,” said Dr. Susan Clair, the Learning Infrastructure Coordinator in the VDOE Office of STEM and Innovation. The data collected by the Exchange Platform provides evidence directly from educators selecting and using edtech that can help inform and guide states and districts interested in making systems-level improvements, like remote learning, by leveraging their successes and addressing their challenges. 

As reported in EdWeek, high and low-performing students experienced troubling learning loss, with steeper learning losses for students at the lowest academic levels. The NAEP scores fell to levels not seen in 20 years. States are focused on mitigating this loss and the Exchange is responding by collecting data on educators’ experiences with mathematics edtech tools. 

“As Virginia updates its mathematics Standards of Learning it’s important to ensure that the mathematics instructional tools teachers are using align. By collecting data directly from teachers, it will be possible to determine how well edtech fits the standards, what mathematics practices are being supported by the edtech, and to what extent the edtech is performing as expected,” said Tina Mazzacane, VDOE’s Mathematics Coordinator for K12. The Exchange data will help VA begin to better understand how their mathematics educators are integrating technology into their instruction and get a glimpse of its impact on student learning.

“When educators are supported with tailored resources and allowed the time to collaborate with other educators, they are able to solve problems in meaningful ways. Data in the Exchange Platform helps educators understand deeply the role that context plays in teaching and learning when integrating technology,” said Dr. Kate Tindle, Manager of the EdTech Evidence Exchange. “We are delighted to welcome VA to the 2023 cohort and add their data to the data collected from last year’s inaugural cohort of AL, NV, and UT.”

With support from philanthropic organizations including the Overdeck Family Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, the EdTech Evidence Exchange and VDOE are helping to center educator voice, insights, and evidence to learn from one another at scale about the role technology plays in our quest to improve student learning.

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