Lea(R)n for free: No-cost Resources for Your EdTech
Our Lea(R)n team has a pretty bold mission, but it’s one that we believe is fundamental to successful learning in classrooms across the country. We are committed to equity in access and know that technology should level the playing field when it comes to digital learning. Regardless of means, makeup or location, we aim to facilitate resources and relevant information for educational organizations of all types.
From our mission to our business model and structure as a B Corp, we work to improve equal access to valuable data through our LearnPlatform that helps educators and administrators organize, streamline and analyze all of their edtech.
Daily life for educators can get pretty busy, we know too well the struggle to keep the focus on driving learning outcomes while making sure budget goes to what gets used and works. We curated this list of a few free resources that administrators and educators can quickly access, implement and extract nearly immediate valuable data from:
1. Free Membership in Technology for Education Consortium (TEC) to Receive Hardware and Software Pricing Transparency (among other benefits)
Getting a good price on edtech? Getting raked over the coals? Not sure? Want to know costs before spending time on demos? This network of more than 100 small, medium and large districts is aggregating, anonymizing and sharing what members have actually paid for popular hardware and software product licenses. Membership is free and open to any U.S. K12 LEA - districts simply commit to sharing their pricing to be able to see pricing from around the network.
Initial hardware reports revealed vast disparities in prices for iPads and Chromebooks. Data sharing is designed to be confidential and low lift for districts, and will focus on member-requested products. There is a very brief application to join TEC.
2. Free EdTech Usage Analytics Reports for Districts Using G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education)
By creating a free LearnPlatform for Administrators account, get access to a comprehensive edtech usage dashboard to show you what edtech is being used in your school/district. Using the LearnPlatform Chrome Extension(s) -- installation can be done in minutes by your Google Administrator and requires no effort from teachers -- educators and LEAs using G Suite for Education can give teachers a time-saving tool to share their experience with thousands of edtech products right from the browser, and provide administrators with a analytics on all the tools being used in their district. The reporting is compliant with FERPA and all regulations, and empowers districts with actionable data without burdening teachers or changing practice. Install the chrome extensions for district-wide use and create your free LearnPlatform for Administrators account to get started.
3. Free Lea(R)n Grading Rubric
The Lea(R)n grading rubric is a research-backed, peer-validated tool designed by, with and for educators to help them share insights and feedback on the learning technologies they use in their classrooms. Educators use the rubric to consistently and systematically grade products while also providing qualitative insights and feedback in context, using classroom experience.
The rubric is straightforward and simple to use, clearly identifying criteria and ratings aligned to key components of user experience and applied practice. The rubric is a free reference, and is often used in conjunction with professional development sessions to support critical thinking and evaluative skills around edtech, so as teachers have greater access to more tools, measurement and comparison skills are sharpened.
Other free resources you may find useful:
- Contract language requiring product vendors to provide utilization data
- IMPACT Analysis for any K-12 district with fewer than 5,000 students and/or Title I designation to see edtech usage and impact across your organization
- And of course, LearnPlatform is always free for individual educators to get and share contextualized insights from verified educators on more than 5,000 edtech products.