Using Evidence to Support EdTech Adoption in Schools
The Office of Educational Technology is developing policies and resources highlighting evidence-building practices for impactful educational technology adoption in schools.
Supporting Schools’ Use of Evidence to Guide EdTech Adoption
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) encourages state and local educational agencies to prioritize evidence-based decisions on the use of educational technologies (edtech) in schools. Educational leaders charged with making edtech decisions on behalf of school districts have expressed the need for support in using evidence to inform edtech adoption decisions in schools.
OET has developed an EdTech Evidence Toolkit as a resource to support educational leaders with using evidence to inform the selection of edtech in schools. The toolkit was developed in consultation with federal, state, and local partners with expertise in use of evidence and edtech to ensure that they meet the expressed needs of state and local education leaders responsible for making edtech adoption decisions in schools.
The following toolkit resources offer “how-to” guidance and suggestions for ways educational leaders can build their school district’s evidence base and support professional development.
NEW!! EdTech Evidence Toolkit
Evidence One-Pager Series
The EdTech Evidence one-pagers introduce evidence-building activities for four tiers of evidence, as outlined in ESEA: (1) Strong Evidence, (2) Moderate Evidence, (3) Promising Evidence, and (4) Demonstrating a Rationale. There are four evidence one-pagers in the toolkit in total, each one focusing on a different tier of evidence.
Each one-pager provides background knowledge for each tier of evidence and offers educational leaders support in using evidence to inform edtech adoption decisions in schools by providing:
- introductory evidence-building activities for four tiers of evidence, as outlined in ESEA
- example case studies for using evidence-building activities to inform edtech adoption
- suggestions for collaborative activities to encourage use of evidence in schools
Click on the buttons below to explore each resource by evidence tier:
Evidence Building in Action: Stories from the Field
Monique Daviss, Executive Director, El Sol Science and Arts Academy of Santa Ana: Evidence Tier 4 and Tier 3
In our interview with Monique Daviss, Executive Director of El Sol Science and Arts Academy of Santa Ana, she reflects on El Sol’s evidence-building practices in response to our prompt, “Please share an example of El Sol’s partnership work with universities and community organizations to support evidence-based practices.” READ MORE
“El Sol and the University of California, Irvine have worked together to establish the more foundational types of evidence which would be, for example, Tier 4 and Tier 3. The small and agile nature of El Sol allows us to get research partnership projects up to scale quickly with less delays for district-wide approval.“
“At El Sol, the reason we’re engaged in this process is because we want to demonstrate leadership around building evidence and understanding the research process. And we really want to have agency over our own big questions so that we are active participants in understanding what we want to know, how we want to know it, and how it works in our context.“
Sunil Gunderia, Chief Innovation Officer, Age of Learning: Evidence Tier 4, Tier 3, Tier 2, and Tier 1
In our interview with Chief Innovation Officer at Age of Learning, Sunil Gunderia, he reflects on Age of Learning’s evidence-building practices with schools in response to the question, “As an edtech developer, please share how Age of Learning has partnered with schools to engage in evidence-building across the different levels of evidence?” READ MORE
“When you approach a district with your solution you have to be clear on what problem you’re solving for their students and you build up from there.“
“There are plenty of districts willing to partner if you provide the right incentives, come to them with solutions to problems that they know they need to solve, and work with them, and their teachers, to make implementation as flexible as possible.“
Dr. Ying Xu, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Technology, University of Michigan: Evidence Tier 4 & Tier 1
In our interview with Dr. Ying Xu, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences and Technology at University of Michigan, she reflects on the following questions: “As an education researcher, can you describe the co-design elements of your partnership-based work with children, parents, and schools? How have you engaged with participants to investigate and build evidence-based educational technologies for kids?” READ MORE
“We engage in different forms of evidence-building processes with our partners depending on the stage and nature of our project.“
“We advocate for Open Science and share the source code of our program, and also the anonymized research data. This will allow other research groups to contribute to the evidence-building process collectively.“
Katie Boody Adorno, CEO and Founder, Leanlab Education: Evidence Tier 4, Tier 3, and Tier 1
In our interview with CEO and Founder of Leanlab Education, Katie Boody Adorno, she reflects on their evidence-building partnership work with EdTech developers and schools in response to the prompt, “Please describe Leanlab Education’s partnership work with EdTech developers and schools to support evidence-building practices across the levels of evidence.” READ MORE
“We align partnerships to school districts’ existing priorities and their strategic plans. We work to build relational trust, or leverage existing relationships, across hierarchies within school systems. And finally, we work to leverage co-design to ensure the studies are mutually beneficial to both the participating edtech companies and the school communities participating.“
“Leanlab leveraged existing regional school relationships with leadership at Gordon Parks Elementary, a Kansas City charter school, and Clinton County R3 School District in Plattsburg, Missouri for the initial implementation and correlational study. Leanlab co-designed the study with teachers, administrators and parents to assess the correlation between using Sown to Grow, and (1) how teachers perceive their self-efficacy to teach social emotional learning, and (2) changes in self-awareness and self-management among students.“
Listening Session: Using Evidence to Support EdTech Adoption in Schools
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, with support from Digital Promise, held a listening session on cultivating partnerships to support edtech evidence building activities in schools. We connected with over 163 constituents across 20 states representing school districts, government, industry, and academia involved in making edtech adoption decisions.
The goal of this listening session was to gather input, generate ideas, discuss current areas of need, and outline future considerations to support evidence-building
partnerships between schools and organizations.
Evidence Blog Series
In OET’s Evidence blog series, we offer suggestions for ways educational leaders can use the EdTech Evidence Toolkit to build their school district’s evidence base and support professional development. The Evidence blog series discusses using the EdTech Evidence Toolkit as an introductory resource for navigating the edtech evidence landscape; and offers suggestions for how educational leaders can use partnerships and professional development activities to build capacity for evidence-building in schools.
Guidance and suggestions for ways educational leaders can use our EdTech Evidence one-pagers to build their school district’s evidence base and support PD.
Suggestions for how educational leaders can use professional development activities to build capacity for evidence-building in schools.
Additional Evidence Resources
Need more information?
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Please Include “OET EVIDENCE” in the Subject Line