Two-Minute Tip: Ed-Tech Evidence and Why It Matters

Staff Writer

In this Two Minute Tip, Dana Bryson, senior vice president of social impact at, talks about why ed-tech companies need to invest in building evidence for their products.

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Many districts want to see the research behind the digital tools and products they use in classrooms. Those working in education should be aware of how the bar has been raised.

At a recent nationwide education conference, education industry leaders spoke on new standards for evidence, including an online resource released by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year.

This resource, known as the EdTech Evidence Toolkit, breaks down the four different levels of evidence outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act in an effort to finetune the way that ed tech is evaluated.

Speaking on a panel at this year’s ASU+GSV Summit, district officials and industry representatives emphasized the importance of investing in ed tech evidence, especially as districts face a funding cliff with the evaporation of federal stimulus money near the end of next year.

“A tsunami of technology has come into people’s homes through online learning and forced this acceleration,” said Dana Bryson, senior vice president of social impact at online learning platform, and one of the speakers on the panel. “Now it’s clear we need to think about, ‘What are we using, and how does this affect student outcomes?’”

Bryson’s role consists of overseeing’s equitable education initiatives, including the Working Scholars program, a debt-free accelerated degree pathway for working adults, and Keys to the Classroom, which is designed to help aspiring educators prepare for and pass their teacher certification exams. She has more than 25 years’ experience in public, start-up, and non-profit sectors and has advocated for communities of color working to increase social sector outcomes and shareholder value.

Bryson recently spoke with EdWeek Market Brief’s Alexandria Ng about the significance of investing in ed-tech evidence and why companies should have a sense of urgency when having those conversations.

Follow EdWeek Market Brief on Twitter @EdMarketBrief or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Image by Getty.

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