Edtech Developers Guide Focuses on Meaningful Change

Speaking at the ASU + GSV Summit, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the release of The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs. The Guide not only talks about opportunities in the edtech market, but it also features case studies of successful collaborations, an outline of an effective development process, funding sources, and information on the basic purchasing processes of schools and districts as well as technology infrastructure and privacy needs. Most important, in the preface Richard Culatta, Director, Office of Educational Technology, counsels developers about the complex nature of the education market and how they need to become knowledgeable about the PreK-12 environment if they want to create a meaningful learning resource.

“School leaders also report that developers often rely too much on what they remember about school from when they were a student and fail to address the complex, interrelated needs of today’s education system,” says a U.S. Department of Education post about the Guide. “Creating high-impact educational apps takes a whole community working together; in particular, educators must be involved at every stage of development for tools and apps to align with their priorities and effectively mesh with their daily workflow.”

Ten Opportunities for Technology to Transform Teaching & Learning

  1. Improving mastery of academic skills
  2. Developing skills to promote lifelong learning
  3. Increasing family engagement
  4. Planning for future education opportunities
  5. Designing effective assessments
  6. Improving educator professional development
  7. Improving educator productivity
  8. Making learning accessible to all students
  9. Closing opportunity gaps
  10. Closing achievement gaps

“Technology has the potential to drive both equity and excellence—the core values that motivate so many of us who do this work every single day,” said Duncan at ASU + GSV. “But we also know that technology can just as easily widen the lead for those who already have every advantage and exacerbate the devastating opportunity gap that today confines too many of our children to the margins of society. If the technology revolution only happens for families that already have money and are already well educated, then I don't think it's really a revolution.”

Download The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide from the Office of Educational Technology.

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