How Do We Measure the Value of EdTech?
For better or worse, NCLB has forced public schools to be data driven. School leaders think hard every time they make a purchase, condone a new course, or approve a field trip request. And it’s not just because their purchasing budgets have shrunk by 50% in each of the last three years.
School boards, accreditation organizations, and perhaps, most importantly, local taxpayers, want to know how the decisions school leaders make will effect the bottom line of the schools they oversee. Only, the bottom line in the education game is not profit, it is student outcomes.
Of late, student outcomes has come to mean scores on standardized tests. Forgive me. I can’t mention standardized testing without at least conceiving of a diatribe about the damage we are doing to our citizenry with an inordinate focus on bubble tests. I am not alone in this perspective. I have even asked the technologist community for some help on this front in a prior post. That’s as far as I will go with my diatribe in this post, though. On to how we should measure the value added by edtech..
Here is a short list of student outcomes that can be measured, and that I find worthy of our efforts to quantify.
- Argumentation, both written and verbalized.
- Mathematical problem solving skill.
- Scientific conceptual understanding.
- Executive function.
- Creative execution.
- Social networking capacity. (No, I don’t mean counting friends on FB.)
- Moral reasoning capacity.
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Praise for this blog
jackcwest is one of the 50 must read K12 I.T. blogs
Teach.com, Daniel Turner
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Mitch Weathers, Founder, Organized Binder
"Hey edtech'ers you will enjoy following JackCWest and his blog ."
Paul Edelman, Founder, TeachersPayTeachers
"Cheers for the reply and clarification. btw, i think you’re one of the most thoughtful ed tech bloggers out there. look forward to every post. thanks!"
Elizabeth Corcoran, Founder, EdSurge
"Great piece Jack!" - comment on post about Gooru.
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" jackcwest provides a humorous and insightful summary of the key predictions of the 2011 Horizon report."
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