Generating Better Evidence on Ed Tech

Author 
Emily Barton and Dan Brown
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Excerpt 

Educational Leadership

May 2021 | Volume 78 | Number 8
From Research to Practice Pages 70-73

When making decisions about education technology, educators shouldn't have to fly blind.

Educators face a "paradox of choice" when it comes to selecting the best education technology tools for their students. In a ballooning market with approximately 8,000 ed tech tools in use and 3,250 ed tech companies (Censuswide, 2020; LearnPlatform, 2020), there are too many choices and too few ways to access useful information about what works where.

When it comes to ed tech, profound obstacles hobble busy educators trying to do right by their students. High-quality efficacy research on technology tools is scarce. Educators want advice from peers, but struggle to find guidance relevant to their specific contexts. Administrators find themselves taking a hit-or-miss approach to technology procurement (Morrison et al., 2014). So how can we change this status quo of flying blind in terms of choosing education technologies? How can the education sector build a better bridge between research and practice, so knowledge about what works where can be documented and spread?

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