U.S. K-12 Educational Technology Policy: Historical Notes on the Federal Role

Doug Levin

” This letter marked the launch of the implementation of the first federal program dedicated to ensuring universal access to information and communications technology for improved teaching and learning in the nation’s schools. the language that describes the purpose, structure, and requirements of the program); official guidance (i.e., the more detailed program rules, as determined by the U.S. Enhancing Education Through Technology Program.

Ed tech companies promise results, but their claims are often based on shoddy research

The Hechinger Report

IXL says its program is “proven effective” and that research “has shown over and over that IXL produces real results.” As more schools went online and demand for education software grew, more companies began designing and commissioning their own studies about their products.


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Project-based learning boosts student engagement, understanding

The Hechinger Report

The students researched continental plates and convection currents; they practiced graphing earthquake magnitudes; they looked at case studies in China, Japan and Nepal and considered how people adapt to an earthquake-prone environment; and, ultimately, they had to make their case, in writing, for why they expect the next earthquake to hit when and where they say it will, backing up their hypothesis with a well-reasoned argument and evidence.

Debunking the ‘Gold Standard’ Myths in Edtech Efficacy


But unfortunately over the past decade or two, educational research has gotten tangled up in how the medical industry defines and measures efficacy—standards that are as inappropriate as evaluating a headache only with an MRI machine. The resulting snarl has frustrated everyone: educators and parents don’t know how to evaluate edtech products; entrepreneurs don’t know what metrics authentically gauge their value. Researchers then study the outcomes.