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EdTech Spending and the EdTech Genome Project

Posted on 12/6/2021

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Over the years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, it has not been an easy process to determine how to spend money on edtech tools in the most effective ways. With so many software and equipment options that have come, been updated, and gone, as well as the never-ending training to keep teachers and staff current on how to use these tools, it has been a struggle to create and implement a strategy that makes sense and is cost effective.

With the flood of federal money in the last year and a half in response to COVID and distance learning that has come about in its wake, this has compounded the issue for many. There is added pressure to do things quickly to keep students connected to our programs and schools, teach effectively online, mitigate "learning loss," and more. If a school or program did not have a strategy in place pre-COVID, then it has been a herculean task to stay ahead of serving students.

The EdTech Evidence Exchange is one organization trying to make sense of edtech spending and come up with some solutions that will help educators determine how to spend money effectively and create the greatest impact. One of the Exchange's initiatives, the EdTech Genome Project, recently released a report in which they selected ten implementation variables as the most important for immediate research:

  • Vision for Teaching and Learning
  • Selection Processes
  • Competing Priorities
  • Infrastructure and Operations
  • Implementation Systems and Processes
  • Professional Learning
  • Staff Culture
  • Strategic Leadership Support
  • Teacher Agency
  • Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge

In the future, Project participants will study associations between these variables and edtech implementation to help schools and districts make better-informed decisions about selecting and implementing edtech tools that will work well in their contexts. You can learn more about the EdTech Genome Project on the EdTech Evidence Exchange website and read  the Project's final report from this summer.

Article: "Don't rush to spend on edtech" from the Hechinger Report

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.