Ed-Tech Success: Key Factors

Today’s Digital Education post shares Project RED’s findings from the recently released report.  The team identifies factors that most strongly link with ed-tech success:

1. Technology is integrated into all intervention classes;
2. Principals and school leaders set aside time for professional learning and collaboration for teachers;
3. Students use technology to collaborate;
4. Technology is integrated into core curricula at least once a week or more;
5. Online formative assessments are administered at least weekly;
6. The lower the student-to-computer ratio, the better;
7. Virtual field trips are used monthly;
8. Students use search engines every day; and
9. Principals receive training on how to encourage teacher buy-in, best practices for technology implementation, and learning transformations as a result of technology.

Nothing too ‘out of the box’ but what I thought was interesting was the emphasis on use – frequency makes a difference – and collaboration.  Nothing referenced capitalizing on technology’s ability to diagnose and prescribe individualized instruction which has so long been touted as a main benefit of using technology for learning.  Also, the team makes the point that there is greater positive impact on student outcomes when all nine factors take place. 

The findings also refer to the cost-savings when technology is properly integrated.  “It estimated that total national savings on copying costs could grow to $739 million in high schools alone if all high schools moved to a learning management system. Other cost savings come from reducing redundancies in data collection and software, tracking and identifying the best instructional materials for specific populations of students, and lowering drop-out rates.”