Turn Data into Dollars: How to Maximize Your EdTech Spending for 2018-19
It’s time to lock in budgets for next school year... when schools and districts find themselves asking lots of questions regarding their instructional technology in an effort to work smarter and extend their resources:
- What are teachers and students using? What are they not?
- Which tools are correlating to positive student outcomes? Do we know?
- How well has our spending aligned to instructional goals and budgets? How will it align in the future?
As former educators and active partners with administrators doing this work across the country, we understand the challenges that accompany budget planning. Trying to weigh the costs and usage of your edtech tools with their impact on student outcomes and alignment to your goals and standards is a massive undertaking, primarily if, like many schools and districts, you don’t have enough quality data to support your budgetary decisions.
For instance, did you know that last year, K-12 schools and districts in the U.S. spent more than $12 billion on educational technology? Yet 2017 edtech usage data reveals that an estimated 35% of licenses were never even activated, and 24% of licenses were activated but failed to meet a single usage objective for an educational organization. That means there is room to re-allocate nearly two-thirds of all edtech expenditures to more effective products that impact classrooms, drive student achievement and increase ROI for schools and districts.
So what is causing the challenges surrounding the implementation of so much of today’s classroom technology? A number of factors come to mind, particularly a lack of communication between budget-makers and educators into what products are currently available within their school or district, quality insights into the utility, effectiveness and true costs of potential edtech tools and awareness regarding product usage and results on student achievement.
With 2018-19 budgets due right around the corner, and challenges like these weighing heavily on the minds of school and district administrators across the country, we want to provide resources a lot of our customers and partners have found useful to help maximize your organization’s edtech spending.
You can spend hours doing extensive research and reading reviews trying to make sure your spending is going towards the right edtech tools. It can be difficult to find verifiable data and useful feedback for the thousands of products on the market, especially when reviews often boil down to overly simplistic star ratings that give little insight into product effectiveness or impact on student outcomes.
LearnPlatform hosts more than 100,000 verified educators to connect, share feedback and grade 5,000+ edtech products, using criteria from a research-backed grading rubric that allows teachers to review ease of use, effectiveness of features, accuracy of content, alignment to learning objectives, impact on student engagement and more.
The platform can also be used to compare pricing on products to help you gain pricing visibility, streamline procurement and contract management, and increase purchasing power to maximize ROI.
Increase visibility into product usage
Teachers and administrators are always on the go, and it’s not always easy to stay connected and share feedback on what tools are being used. Still, product usage data is vital during budget planning and administrators need a way to keep track of which tools are most valuable to teachers and students.
This free LearnPlatform Chrome Extension gives administrators access to a comprehensive dashboard that provides real-time analytics on which learning tools educators access most, least and everything in between. Stronger data means more informed policy and budgetary decisions. Custom reports show usage trends, while product-specific details reveal which tools are most popular and have been graded highest among users.
Identify which products have the most IMPACT
Collecting data on the products being used in classrooms in your school or district is valuable, but analyzing and sharing it in a practical, applicable way is the best way to ensure sound budgetary decisions. 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 the effectiveness of your edtech products.
These reports allow administrators to analyze edtech usage, achievement and costs in order to understand what's working for students and which adjustments (both financial and organizational) could be made to improve results.
These IMPACT reports can be used to calculate the EPI of any learning tool. The EdTech Price Index™ is a standard that conveys the true costs of educational technology by accounting for licenses that are actually used. The ideal EPI score for any edtech tool is 1.00, meaning that every $1 you spend is fully utilized.
Making the most of your edtech budget
In today’s vastly expanding edtech marketplace, the need for high-quality digital learning tools in classrooms has never been greater. Schools and districts can’t afford to wait months or years to identify whether a particular edtech product is driving student outcomes and aligning to organizational goals.
Using LearnPlatform, administrators can harness educator experience and feedback, stay up-to-date on real-time product usage and analyze in-depth product reports to make data-driven budget decisions, identify cost savings and focus efforts more acutely on what resources are working.