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More Than The “Cool Factor”

by Patrícia Gomes

EdSurge

Article excerpt

Five Things About Efficacy That Should Be Intuitive, But Are Not

Companies often couch their claims to efficacy behind terms like “personalized learning” and “Big Data.” But how do we know if their products actually help kids learn?

Our take

“Is this tool effective?” It Depends.

Ed tech tools proliferate now and take a wide range of forms. But, not all ed tech tools are created equal. The challenge for instructors is applying a reliable method of evaluating the efficacy of these tools. While this piece doesn’t necessarily provide “the answers” to this conundrum, it does present some good starting points for consideration. What key takeaways can you apply in your classrooms?

When considering tech tool adoption, it’s important to stay firmly rooted in the educational value of those options, with a focus on outcomes that helps to diminish the pull of the “cool factor.” Whether or not a tool is efficient, or effective, as this piece points out has more to do with how the tool is applied than with what the tool is. Purpose, the pedagogic approach, measurement, time to reliably evaluate, and appropriate data collection all go into answering the question of “is this tool effective?”

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