Convening with a Network of Educational Innovators in the City of Brotherly Love

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This week, we’re attending one of the most collaborative and innovative annual gatherings for education stakeholders in the country — the 2018 EdClusters convening in Philadelphia, PA.

We’ve talked about this in a past post, but to give you a quick recap, Education Innovation Clusters (or EdClusters) are local communities of practice that bring together educators, entrepreneurs, funders, researchers, and other community members (such as families, local government officials and non-profits) to support innovative teaching and learning in their region.  

Each year, leaders from EdClusters across the country gather during a multi-day workshop to share new ideas, resources, frameworks and discoveries in an effort to learn from one another and accelerate the pace of educational innovation in their local communities.

Lea(R)n is honored to participate yet again in this yearly assemblage with some of the brightest minds across the country, particularly because we know first hand the results that collaboration of this scale has the power to achieve.

After all, we developed LearnPlatform under similar circumstances, bringing together a team of educators, technologists and researchers to conduct studies, build technology and work with schools, districts and states to develop an innovative solution for managing and measuring the impact of their edtech ecosystems.

Technology + Collaboration + IMPACT = Improved Outcomes

EdClusters are supported by Digital Promise, a federally-backed nonprofit working to bring together this national network of regional ecosystems to accelerate the pace of evidence-based education innovation.

Through these annual convenings, discoveries made and knowledge learned in one area of the country is shared with others and, ultimately, used to produce better outcomes for students and teachers everywhere. Three primary themes emerge during these annual gatherings:

  • Technology is transformative, but only if designed, developed and implemented in an effective manner.
  • Collaboration is critical to build an ecosystem of effective innovation through a diverse set of valuable knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Impact is imperative, because without results, any innovation is simply un-realized potential.

During our presentation at this year’s event, we’ll be sharing the benefits of LearnPlatform for schools, districts, states, networks and edtech product providers. We’ll also be discussing IMPACT Analysis™, our rapid-cycle evaluation solution that generates custom reports to help education organizations understand the costs of their edtech initiatives, the extent to which digital tools are being used and the effects these products are having on student outcomes.

We hope contributing to this annual gathering will allow us to continue improving learning for all students and expand equitable access for them to the most effective edtech tools available.

Showing the Evidence of IMPACT

The incredible thing about our IMPACT Analyses is that they allow education leaders to analyze edtech use, achievement and costs to know what's working for students and how to adjust resources, instruction and support to improve results. IMPACT also generates the types of evidence that education organizations need to meet ESSA requirements.

Conservatively speaking, a single product IMPACT Analysis can result in 1.54 million calculations in 2.6 seconds — that’s about the same amount of data you’d receive in two weeks from a traditional third-party evaluation.

That is a lot of number-crunching, but the real, applicable value is that this data helps answer key questions that educators and administrators need to know about their edtech, such as: 

  • How much did we use specific edtech products in our classrooms? In what way were they used?
  • What can we do to improve implementation and practice immediately? 
  • Did the product do what it was intended to do in our situation?
  • Is the effect of the product different for different student populations (grade levels, demographics, achievement levels) or situations?
  • How can we adjust our implementation, use or licensing of the product to improve outcomes? 
  • What are opportunities for cost savings?

IMPACT can help schools and districts actually build relevant, powerful and personalized classroom experiences, while closing disadvantageous gaps among students in opportunity, access and achievement. That’s what makes it so powerful.

By sharing examples of districts using IMPACT Analyses to make informed decisions with the national convening of EdClusters, we have the opportunity to discuss the validity of LearnPlatform and continuously improve the technology and analytics to provide greater value to edtech innovators and inch closer to increasing equitable access for all students.

That’s what EdClusters gatherings are all about — joining our fellow education stakeholders from around the country to discuss actionable solutions and opportunities to collaborate, so that teachers and students can get their hands on the best technology for their needs.

Interested in Learning More? 

Our own Dr. Daniel Stanhope will be presenting as a panelist at EdClusters 2018 to discuss "The Status of Efficacy in the EdTech Ecosystem," as well as sharing ideas on the "EdTech Evaluation That is Rigorous Yet Practical" with other EdClusters attendees. 

You can view the full agenda here or sign up to receive email updates and information about the 2018 Education Innovation Clusters convening here.

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Lea(R)n