PRESS RELEASE: Nationwide Initiative Will Equip Math Teachers With Tools and Resources to Choose the Best-Fit Technology for Their Classroom

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics partners with EdTech Evidence Exchange to identify technology tools that are a good fit for math teachers’ unique contexts

ARLINGTON, VA — AUGUST 31, 2022 — The EdTech Evidence Exchange (the Exchange), a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development, is partnering with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) to provide math teachers across the country with evidence about which education technology tools will be the best fit for their context. The ambitious project will collect evidence from thousands of math teachers who document their experiences selecting and implementing edtech tools to teach math. This evidence will be immediately accessible to help educators make context-informed decisions about which math tools to select and how to effectively implement those tools to support math learning. 

“We know that technology can play a crucial role in helping students understand mathematical concepts, but educators often have to choose and plan for using edtech tools with limited evidence,” said Trena Wilkerson, NCTM President. “By partnering with the Exchange, we’re taking crucial steps to collect and disseminate the information that our members need to inform edtech selection and implementation — so that we can help make technology work for math teachers across the country.”

According to evidence collected by the Exchange, the U.S. was spending between $25 and $41 billion per year on education technology prior to the pandemic — but approximately half of those purchases were used ineffectively, materially underused, or unused entirely. For the past several years, the Exchange has been working to address that challenge. Through its EdTech Genome Project, the Exchange convened practitioners, researchers, and edtech experts to identify ten factors likely to have the greatest influence on the successful implementation of edtech tools and created measurement instruments that make it possible – for the first time – for educators around the country to efficiently measure and understand their context. 

Through this partnership, NCTM and the Exchange will translate the Genome Project  research into action by gathering and distributing evidence from math teachers about their experiences with edtech via the EdTech Evidence Exchange Platform, a tool developed specifically for the purpose of helping educators share information about their edtech contexts and implementation. Participating educators will receive a stipend for their contribution, and the Exchange is actively collaborating with philanthropic partners to support this phase of its research.

“The lack of context-informed evidence in edtech decision-making is one of the greatest collective action problems facing the education community — contributing to billions spent on technology that doesn’t get used,” said Bart Epstein, CEO of the EdTech Evidence Exchange and research associate professor at the University of Virginia. “We’re excited to work with NCTM and our philanthropic partners to scale this collaborative effort so we can collect data from every math teacher in the country and ensure that every educator has the information they need to fulfill the potential of technology as a tool for improving student learning.”

Educators who are interested in getting involved, or would like more information about the initiative, can contact the Exchange at research@edtechevidence.org.

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