North Billerica, MA, January 15, 2014
Curriculum Associates joins co-authors from Digital Learning Now! (DLN), a national initiative under the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), Getting Smart, and The Learning Accelerator to release a new white paper titled “Smart Series Guide to EdTech Procurement.”
The goal of the paper is to create a framework for EdTech purchasing by offering practical advice to guide key decisions, share lessons learned from districts that have already made the digital shift, discuss the implications for blended learning, and provide examples of best practices in education policy that support smart procurement.
“Procurement policies and practices are one of the most overlooked areas needed to support innovative instructional models,” said John Bailey, Executive Director of Digital Learning Now! “We can't transform our education system without transforming the way we procure services and products. Procurement needs to accelerate new approaches, not inhibit them.”
The procurement process outlined in the paper was written from lessons gleaned by the collective experience of the authors who have worked with hundreds of school districts across the nation. These experiences have allowed each author the opportunity to address the challenges that districts will face when attempting to discern technology integration in a way that creates a better environment for teachers to teach and students to learn.
“The review and selection of an EdTech solution can be a very complicated process,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “We are excited to contribute what we hope is a valuable resource for districts around the country. Our goal is to help administrators save money, increase flexibility, get better service, and improve their odds of purchasing a product that truly meets all of their needs.”
“Implementation must be done well to be beneficial. Rushing the implementation process for blended and online learning often results in inefficiencies and missed opportunities to bring the best personalized learning to students,” Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, said. “Thinking strategically about EdTech purchases will ensure higher impact and ultimately benefit more teachers and students, and we hope this paper identifies the best ways to incorporate change,” added Carri Schneider, Getting Smart Director of Policy and Research.
While collaborating with policymakers and educational leaders from across the country, the authors have made the observation that providers often market themselves in strikingly similar ways, even when their product and service offerings are very different. Frequently, the result is confusion and frustration from educational leaders who do not know where to begin.
“Our hope is that this guide will help districts make smart choices in a uniquely challenging market, allowing them to spend more time and money on the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes,” Daniel Owens, Partner at The Learning Accelerator, said. “As education trends move towards teaching 21st century skills, we’ve seen school districts dramatically increase EdTech purchasing. In the end, this allows educators to incorporate online learning and it helps students adapt to the ever-changing technological environment.”
Curriculum Associates is active on Facebook at facebook.com/CurriculumAssociates and Twitter at @CurriculumAssoc. Readers can join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags #SmartSeries, #EdTech, and #DigLN.
To learn more, or to download the full paper, go to CurriculumAssociates.com/EdTechPurchase.