School & District Management

Guiding Education Businesses Through the Research Wringer

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 29, 2015 1 min read
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[Correction: Echo360 is in use in higher education.]

Education researchers often lament the evidence—or lack of evidence—backing programs in the booming education technology field.

Now, a business “accelerator” project, run in collaboration with the University of Virginia, is trying to fill the gap in research quality in the ed-tech marketplace. The Jefferson Education Accelerator, a commercial venture, plans to invest in companies that agree to subject their products and services to high-quality research. UVA’s Curry School of Education is advising the accelerator.

This week, the accelerator announced the first company that will participate in the project. Echo360, an education technology platform designed to help students take notes in class and review lectures, will be the first intervention to run the research gauntlet. The tool is already being used in about 650 higher education campuses, and academic researchers from Curry and other schools will independently evaluate the product as it grows. In the process, the accelerator will give school districts more and better-quality research on education products.

Check out my colleague Sean Cavanagh’s coverage for more on the Jefferson Education Accelerator, and its interest in K-12 ed tech.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.