- Digital Promise's new survey of six districts examines how and why ed tech is purchased for schools, looking at barriers to implementation and finding that administrators are commonly delayed by a lack of standards for evaluating new pilots.
- To complicate matters, by the time decisions are finally made, it's common for budget cycles to have moved into future quarters or years, making purchases more difficult, Education Week reports.
- Overall, the survey found, the successful execution of a district ed tech pilot doesn’t correlate to a successful contract or purchase.
Determining just how well a certain ed tech product or platform works can be difficult. The challenge is increased by the fact that most test results linked to using a product aren’t available in time to meet the time constraints of districts’ annual purchasing deadlines. Relying on simple standardized tests to determine whether or not a prodiuct works is also problematic, the new study’s authors note, because “exam results could be swayed by other factors” that are unrelated to the pilot in question.
Further, some districts also reported feeling like they needed more time to test and get familiarized with new products — something that has been proven to help e-tch success in the classroom.
“The lack of a systematic way of capturing what students think of ed-tech products is a lost opportunity for developers,” Education Week noted, summarizing the survey's key finding.