- The nonprofit Jefferson Education Exchange has announced the EdTech Genome Project, a new evidence-based databank designed to help districts vet education technology products, EdScoop reports.
- Schools nationwide spend $13 billion per year total on tech tools, and Jefferson Education Exchange says 85% of those products don’t meet their intended needs, suggesting that schools and districts are blindly buying tech without fully understanding schools' needs or the tools' purposes.
- Over the next 14 months, the project’s 30 team members will develop 10 variables associated with ed tech success and failure, with the results geared toward helping schools make more informed purchasing decisions.
With the number of ed tech products and users growing exponentially every year, keeping up with and vetting the latest products costs districts time and money. The EdTech Genome Project joins other services now emerging to help administrators make sense of the market.
Another service called Check the Privacy allows IT teams to search a database that rates the privacy of 7,000 ed tech products, alleviating the need for district IT staff to comb through the fine print of every product being considered and devote more time to how it might be implemented. The resource even takes into consideration the growing concern around privacy and data security by including information from the Student Data Privacy Consortium, the Data Quality Campaign and the Future of Privacy Forum.
Searchable ed tech product libraries can also help administrators perform an audit on existing products. Since many ed tech products require yearly subscriptions, these databases help IT departments assess existing product inventory to ensure these tools not only meet privacy standards, but also the needs of students and teachers.