Classroom Technology

The Most Popular Ed-Tech Products Don’t Meet Research Standards

By Lauraine Langreo — March 08, 2023 1 min read
Image of school space.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Only about a quarter of the 100 most-used ed-tech tools in classrooms meet Every Student Succeeds Act requirements, according to a new report from LearnPlatform, an education technology company that helps districts measure the use and effectiveness of their digital products.

The report examines how the 100 most-accessed ed-tech tools stack up across the United States based on key factors, such as data privacy, interoperability, federally aligned evidence, and other indicators.

When the pandemic hit, many companies provided their products to schools and teachers for free. And schools used them even if companies didn’t provide evidence of standards alignment, because educators needed something that would help engage their students.

The average number of technology products that school districts access in a given month has almost tripled over the last several years, but oftentimes, the efficacy of those products aren’t clearly shown.

Federal, state, and district policies are increasingly asking companies to show evidence of alignment to ESSA. Large districts, such as Los Angeles and Chicago, are now requiring evidence information from vendors during the purchasing process.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Congress passed Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds to help districts recover from the pandemic. The term “evidence-based” was used 17 times in the first 20 pages of the bill, which shows there’s more desire for proof that a tech tool works, said LearnPlatform co-founder Karl Rectanus during a presentation about ESSA and technology at the SXSW EDU conference this week in Austin.

“With tech-enabled learning here to stay, understanding which tools are effective, interoperable, compliant, accessible, and safe are table stakes,” Rectanus said in a statement. “While not ubiquitous, this report indicates that the use of evidence is taking flight across education.”

For the report, LearnPlatform analyzed data on more than 11,000 ed-tech products based on the engagement of 2.8 million students and more than 320,000 educators. The analysis was then cross-referenced with publicly available information on provider websites and from respected associations and organizations, including Common Sense Media, Digital Promise, and the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Spotlight Spotlight on Academic Integrity & AI
This Spotlight will help you examine how teachers are combatting AI cheating, discover how to structure lessons in AI literacy, and more.
Classroom Technology Opinion The Promise and Peril of AI for Education
As GPS did for our sense of direction, AI could erode students’ connection to knowledge.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Classroom Technology What Educators Need to Know About AI’s Impact on Black Students
Four experts weigh the balance between providing access to AI and protecting students from its dangers.
3 min read
Teacher Helping Female Pupil Line Of High School Students Working at Screens In Computer Class
iStock/Getty
Classroom Technology Q&A Google Executive: What AI Can and Can't Do for Teachers
Jennie Magiera, Google's head of education impact, discusses the role AI should have in K-12 education.
8 min read
Close-up stock photograph showing a touchscreen monitor with a woman’s hand looking at responses being asked by an AI chatbot.
E+