Gifts that Keep Giving: Six Resources to Kick Off 2018

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The holiday season is here at last. Before we put our feet up by the fire and break out the eggnog, we wanted to share some of our favorite resources to help educators better organize, streamline and analyze their edtech. Here are six resources to help your organization survive the holidays in style and get in tip-top shape to kick off the new year.

1) During the holiday season, the only people who know more than Santa about who makes the naughty and nice list are educators themselves. Get edtech insights from those who use it most: teachers.

Find insights, feedback and grades on more than 5,000 edtech products from more than 100,000 verified educators on LearnPlatform. Feedback is shared using a comprehensive, research-backed grading rubric — a peer-validated tool designed by, with and for educators to help them grade classroom learning technologies. Educators use the rubric to consistently grade products while also providing qualitative contextual insights, using classroom experience. Edtech reviews go beyond flat, less-than-helpful star ratings. See how products score on a scale of one to 10 for “ease of use and navigation” or “the product's alignment with learning objectives and achievement standards,” to name a couple of criteria. The rubric is a free resource, and is often used in conjunction with professional development sessions to support critical thinking and edtech evaluative skills. Sign up for free here to see hundreds of peer reviews on more than 5,000 products.

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2) Mornings can be a struggle — especially those first few back in the classroom after a well-deserved respite. Those mornings demand coffee, and lots of it. Educators who grade products and share their feedback on the LearnPlatform product library receive points redeemable for gift cards – gift cards for coffee and other treats. Sign up for free, start grading and choose from Starbucks, Target or Amazon gift cards. Contributing your knowledge and sharing insights and feedback helps create a vibrant community of fellow educators across the country.  

3) Who doesn’t want to be like Rudolph? Edtech leaders across the U.S. are lighting the way through the blizzard of edtech products by staying in the know on the latest edtech trends. Download the 2017 EdTech Usage Trends Report and the EdTech Top 40 List to be in the know and see what others are using and help light the way for your peers.

ETT40 and Usage Trends PDF

4) When you decide to buy an expensive holiday gift for a loved one, you probably do initial research into whether they already have that item, if they have used it in the past, which style or brand is most recommended, etc. before making the final purchase. The way we approach edtech shouldn’t be any different. Before making large edtech purchasing and management decisions, or determining effectiveness of existing tools, you need to know which tools are being used in the first place. That’s where the free LearnPlatform Chrome Extensions come in. The extensions are simple to install and allow you to uncover what’s being accessed in classrooms. Administrators can view a comprehensive dashboard in their free LearnPlatform account that includes real-time access information, complete with easy-to-use charts. Teachers can add the extension to their browser to learn more about the edtech they use and share their own feedback as they search and browse. When they visit ANY learning technology website, the extension lights up, activates in browser and shows the educator-driven grades on the product.

5) It’s time to cozy up by the fire and tune in to some holiday classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf, the Lea(R)n resource center video library, How the Grinch Stole Christmas... Okay, one of those is not like the others, but the Lea(R)n video library does contain useful content that will be there when educators return from a well-deserved holiday break. The library offers a helping hand when organizing and implementing an ever-changing edtech portfolio, improving processes or measuring edtech usage and impact. These videos help teachers and administrators set up and use different parts of their LearnPlatform accounts; evaluate tools and share reviews; search for products and manage their approved product libraries. This collection offers in-depth ‘how to’ videos to help you get started with edtech management, streamline procurement and processes, and analyze results to inform decision making.

6) The most requested item on this year’s holiday wish list has been an easy way to analyze edtech use in a rigorous, fast and reliable manner. We’ve got just the thing — IMPACT™ Analysis. You can’t wrap it up, but it’s a gift that keeps giving. What better present for educators, parents and administrators than deeper, more meaningful data to examine edtech efficacy in their organization? Education organizations across the country use IMPACT to generate dashboards that help them understand the costs of their edtech initiatives, the extent to which products are being used, and the impact that those tools are having on student outcomes. This tool integrates data from multiple sources including educator feedback, pricing, product usage and student achievement to produce evidence-based reports and dashboards on product effectiveness. IMPACT also generates the types of evidence that education organizations need to meet ESSA requirements. Read more about that here.

IMPACT Analysis

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