The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology developed the Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach in partnership with Mathematica to give schools a free evaluation platform for educational technology tools.
EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports the tool is not designed to help schools decide which educational technologies to buy, but whether those they are piloting are worth investing in further based on the school’s goals.
The RCE Coach is now available in beta form and can help mimic the work of educational researchers in districts without internal capacity to conduct high-quality evaluations of various tech tools.
Many districts have been overwhelmed by the flood of educational technologies on the market and the dearth of information about what products actually work in schools. Besides the RCE Coach, a number of nonprofit organizations have jumped into the fray to help disseminate research-based evaluations of certain products.
The Technology for Education Consortium’s stated mission is to bring transparency, efficiency and collaboration to K-12 schools engaged in evaluating and purchasing ed tech products and services. LEAP Innovations has been running a Pilot Network since the 2014-15 school year, offering focused tech pilots in cohorts of Chicago schools and releasing results to the wider community.