Education technology providers dangle the promise of transforming classrooms and equipping previously disengaged students with the skills to become lifelong learners. Yet few can demonstrably support their arguments with strong evidence. So how can we expect a teacher or administrator with limited budget and time to separate what works from what doesn’t?
School leaders can better understand whether a flashy product matches their needs by asking its creators questions about what research guided the conceptualization of the tool, what data informed its specific attributes, and what quality and volume of research has been conducted regarding its effectiveness. I recommend beginning with six key questions to separate the promises from the proven solutions.