Analysis: No 'gold standard' in ed tech; continuum of evidence needed to ensure technology helps students

Dr. Christina Luke, Dr. Joshua Marland, Dr. Alexandra Resch, Dr. Daniel Stanhope, Katrina Stevens
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This is the third in a series of essays surrounding the EdTech Efficacy Research Symposium, a gathering of 275 researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs, professors, administrators, and philanthropists to discuss the role efficacy research should play in guiding the development and implementation of education technologies. This series was produced in partnership with Pearson, a co-sponsor of the symposium co-hosted by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, Digital Promise, and the Jefferson Education Accelerator. Click through to read the first and second pieces.

To improve decision-making in education technology, and to ensure the technology we invest in actually yields positive outcomes in student learning, we need evidence appropriate for the needs and objectives of people using it — a teacher deciding to try an app, an administrator introducing a new reading program, or even a company improving its product to meet the needs of students and teachers.

A general consensus was evident during discussions at the recent Ed Tech Efficacy Research Symposium. Educators, researchers, funders, and companies all agreed: We need a robust continuum of evidence.

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