Nonprofits help school districts make good decisions on ed tech

Dive Brief:

  • LEAP Innovations in Chicago and LearnLaunch in Boston are two nonprofits helping school administrators decide which educational technologies are best for their students and school environments.
  • The LEAP Innovations Pilot Network connects schools with highly vetted ed tech companies, provides training and support to teachers and administrators and helps evaluate program outcomes throughout the one-year pilot, before schools decide whether to license the programs on their own.
  • The Hechinger Report writes LearnLaunch has a similar program, where teachers act as researchers, testing out technologies, and sharing results with the wider community.

Dive Insight:

Pilots can be an important way to start small with an innovative idea and set the stage for successful scaling up. Every school is different and within each school every teacher runs her or his classroom slightly differently. Educational technologies that have proven to be effective in some places may not translate well in other environments. Pilots give schools an opportunity to test this out with a smaller group of students before asking for buy-in schoolwide.

Incremental implementation also ensures administrators have the time to cycle teachers through training and develop master teachers along the way. Getting the technology into classrooms is not the finish line. More important is making sure teachers know how to use it to offer students engaging learning experiences that will properly prepare them for graduation and life after it.

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Filed Under: K12 Technology
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