Try Education Technology Before You Buy

Try Education Technology Before You Buy

Where to go and how to assess free trials of education technology

Oh, summer--that glorious time of exploration and experimentation. Now is the time to put all those ideas (and yes, hype) about edtech to the test. At EdSurge, we’re on the lookout for ways that educators can get their hands dirty by trying out edtech products without the hassle and trip wires of slick sales campaigns. There are some live events. And there are some trials that you can do on your own.

We’re asking vendors to join what we modestly call the EdSurge "Clear & Simple" trials program. See below for all the gory details. Our aim is to make these trials as simple as possible. This is an experiment (and nope, we’re not making a dime off it.) Let us know how we can improve it. So pour a tall, cool glass of lemonade and let’s get started! 

Clear & Simple Trials Overview

One thing we've heard from many of you is that you want a hassle-free way to try out paid edtech products in your classrooms for a couple of months before paying for a full year. No funny terms, no annoying sales people, just a smooth setup process that lets you test the product with your whole school or class, with no obligation. We've tried to create a program that does just that by asking vendors to agree to a set of standard trial terms (on the right).

Free trials with simplified data integration

Clever, a data integration provider, has stepped up to offer an easy data setup for these first whole-school trials. This option is geared to school administrators, as it requires access to data systems. Schools don't have to use Clever to participate, but if you want to try multiple products (or already use Clever) it could save you from having to re-upload your student and teacher info each time. Individual teachers who want to try these products will be directed to the companies' websites and walked through a similarly clear process.

As this is an experiment, there are a limited number of trials available. Sign up soon if you are interested. Read more in the FAQ.


Helps teachers track student mastery of state and Common Core standards in math, language arts, science and social studies.


Assessment Management System that tracks student mastery of state and Common Core standards through web based assessments and in depth reporting.


Manages student reading assignments and allows teachers to integrate media and quizzes into ebooks.


Enables teachers and administrators to track student behavior, manage incentive programs and communicate with parents.


Personalized literacy and reporting platform for K-8 students.

All In Learning

Student response and formative assessment system.

We hope that more companies will support these Clear & Simple terms, either with or without full data integration via Clever.

Other Free & Freemium Products

EdSurge writes about many free and partially free ("freemium") products. Terms and conditions vary so read closely. Vendors: if your product should be included on these lists, mail us here with the subject: "Free" or "Freemium."

100% free products (50+)

Browse Free Products

'Freemium' products (50+)

Browse Freemium Products

Rants & Raves
Educators - please fill out our three-minute survey on trials you're participating in

Give feedback about my trial

Vendors - tell us about products you'd like to offer via the Clear & Simple program

Fill out vendor survey

Events where you can try out products

Trade shows have been the classic opportunities for teachers to see products so we'll mention the big one here. EdSurge is also part of a new event slated to take place in Chicago this summer that aims to tone down the hype--and up the time for tire kicking.

Clear & Simple Trial terms that vendors agree to honor

You have 60 days to try a product.

You have 60 days to check out a product. You can stop the trial at any time.

You get to try out the full, paid product.

You're not getting a stripped down version lacking key functionality or offering a different experience than what you'd get if you bought it.

Resources are provided to help you learn. 

You're not left to figure things out by yourself. If resources are inadequate, let us know in the trial feedback form.

There's no commitment to buy.

You should not get hounded by sales people if you've said you don't want to buy the product. If you do, let us know in the trial feedback form.

Your data is deleted after 90 days.

If you choose not to go forward with the product, vendors agree to delete your data 30 days after you finish the trial. (This gives you a bit more time if you need to complete a purchase or change your mind.)

Articles on EdSurge

FAQ on Clear & Simple Trials and this package

Is this an advertisement?

No, EdSurge does not endorse any products listed. We don’t make money when you try out or buy these products, nor do we make anything from Clever. We would love to hear your feedback, though!

Why are you doing this?

We've heard many times from educators and administrators that you’d like to kick the tires on complex products before you commit to buying and using them. We hope to nudge more vendors to offer easy-to-implement trials with Clear & Simple Trial terms.

Why are there limited number of data-integrated trials available?

Initially, a limited number of trials are being offered through Clever due to limited capacity. More vendors and trials will be offered as capacity becomes available. Signing up earlier will get you a better place in line if capacity runs out.

Who is Clever?

Clever is a data integration service that helps schools adopt education technology products. High quality data integration can reduce setup hassle. Clever offers one approach; we’re talking with other companies, too, and will add them to this list as we work out the details.