How Schools Deal with Claims of Efficacy and 'Research'

SKETCHY FACTS: Just as it's hard to verify the merits behind those organic labels on your local supermarket produce, it's also difficult to evaluate the integrity of company-sponsored research for their edtech offerings. Education Week looks at the difficult situation that school officials face when inundated with product pitches that lack independent, verifiable research behind the claims. Also included are a series of helpfully provocative questions sure to rattle vendors including: "Do the players in the study--both students and teachers--represent what your district looks like?" Yes, it's true that research can be costly for startups--both in dollars and time. Fortunately, there are efforts are underway to make this more affordable, such as ResearchBroker from the EdLab at Columbia University's Teacher's College. (Check out how it works here.)

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