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Determining whether or not spending on edtech tools is driving intended student outcomes is no small task. Figuring out what tools are being used in schools and districts can be a daunting task and determining if there are usage frequency adjustments that could be made to improve efficacy and justify the spending investments being made is difficult absent actual data. As a company built by and for educators, we are no strangers to institutional and procedural challenges when it comes to implementing processes to determine data efficacy processes.

Every school and district has their own challenges and goals. Some schools are figuring out what edtech is being used in their classrooms, while others are looking for a way to make sense of their large datasets and how to use them to see better ROI on their spending. Wherever your organization is, we have a few resources to help you advance and make the most of your edtech spending 

Here are four steps to determine effectiveness and increase ROI on edtech spending.

Find out how your edtech tools stack up

Edtech licenses can cost a lot of money, spending on edtech software, apps and tools being run on a device can outweigh the cost of the device itself by up to 300%. You can spend hours doing extensive research and reading reviews trying to make sure your spending is going towards the right products. It can be difficult to find verifiable data and useful feedback for the thousands of products on the market, thanks to outdated reviews and overly simplistic star ratings that do little to indicate whether or not the product will be effective in driving the desired outcome.

To solve this problem, educators across the country have entered more than 5,000 edtech products in LearnPlatform and graded and shared detailed product reviews (while earning redeemable points). Each product receives a grade based on a research-backed grading rubric and feedback from thousands of verified teachers. The product grade is an aggregate of the eight core criteria most important to educators when they try, buy, and use educational technologies (such as impact on teaching effectiveness, alignment with learning objectives, technical merit, and ease of use). You can read reviews from other educators, generate a full grade report and contribute your own insights. Access to all products and their grades is free at https://app.learntrials.com/tools. This is a simple, effective start to get the most from the edtech tools you’re using in classrooms and maximizing your ROI.  

Figure out what is being used and how often

Are you maximizing your edtech spending? Collecting data on what is being used, and the usage frequency is one of the best ways to make informed decisions on resource allocations. The LearnPlatform for Educators Chrome Extension is free and takes about four minutes to set up. LearnPlatform for Students provides data on students accessing edtech using their Google profile and requires no additional logins or browser changes. These extensions provide relevant, contextual product reviews and insights for the educational websites visited and give school administrators an easy way to see edtech product engagement. Installing and activating the extensions district-wide prompts the creation of a free monthly analytics report that can be shared with whomever the administrator designates. Install the extensions for district-wide use. All data collection follows strict privacy standards.

See how your spending compares

You know what you’re using, have access to reviews from thousands of educators and know how often it’s being used. How does your spending compare to other schools and districts? Join TEC for automated collection and visibility of edtech contract and pricing data across member districts. Inform fiscal decisions that improve efficiencies and savings, support cooperative purchasing, contract management and procurement; and maximize purchasing power. Membership is free and shows if your spending is on par with similar schools and districts.

Let the data speak: Determine efficacy and ROI

You are making more informed procurement decisions, have validated usage data and can now think about efficacy:

  • Are the products you are using driving desired student outcomes?
  • Is the spending justified?

It’s time to gather the data you already have (see more in our data requirement guide) and funnel it into an IMPACT Analysis. LearnPlatform’s IMPACT Analysis™ integrates data from multiple sources including educator feedback, pricing data, product usage and student achievement data to produce evidence-based reports and dashboards on product effectiveness. Conservatively, a single product IMPACT Analysis generates 1.54 million calculations in 2.6 seconds.

Determining edtech efficacy and ROI on your spending is a challenge but with these four steps you can quickly get from square one to ROI/efficacy champion for free. We are here to equip, engage and empower more administrators with better, deeper and more meaningful data to examine edtech efficacy in their organizations from a new angle, as well as drill into details most important to selecting instructional tools, supporting teachers and making edtech work in their unique environment.

Useful links:  

View the LearnPlatform product library

Install the LearnPlatform Chrome extensions

Join the TEC community

Get started with a free IMPACT Analysis