SETDA report details intricacies between states' ed tech purchasing practices
- The State Educational Technology Directors Association's latest report seeks to define digital learning material adoptions between states, identifying different models where decisions are made at the state or local level and the intricacies of each, EdSurge reports.
- Regardless of the models, states also have their own accountability standards for tech adoption, with examples including requirements that digital materials have a print counterpart or that publishers accommodate checklists or submit Request for Proposal (RFP) documents.
- The report identifies California, Louisiana, Utah and Indiana as digital adoption leaders that can provide "roadmaps" for other states on policies, funding, adoption processes and potential challenges, according to EdSurge.
While the report is likely to be of most service to ed tech vendors trying to navigate each state's tech adoption practices, it can also be of value to administrators and policymakers seeking to implement best practices. Knowing what's working and what hasn't in states identified as leaders can help when tweaking your own approaches.
Whether the decision is made at the state or local level, administrators and policymakers should also always keep in mind the advice of Scott McLeod, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Colorado Denver and the founder of CASTLE, who suggests the most important question to consider when buying tech is, "How does this empower students to do amazing things that make a difference in the world?"
"I get a lot of puffery but rarely an answer that causes me to lean in and ask more rather than raise a skeptical eyebrow," he told Education Dive in 2016. Additionally, Future Ready Schools Director of Innovation Thomas C. Murray offered a number of his own suggestions more recently for understanding what tools are worth investing in based on research, including whether they offer interactive learning opportunities or encourage students to design and create.
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