How do you know a good edtech product when you see one? In April, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a free guide to “help entrepreneurs apply technology in smart ways to solve identified and persistent problems in education.” The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs specifically endorses Kaplan, Inc.’s best-practice approach to assessing whether an edtech product or service aligns with learning science principles:
“Developers who are not aware of the foundations of cognitive science, instructional design, or the learning sciences can miss out on opportunities for high-impact design and ways to systematically build in features from the collection of effectiveness data that can help them improve their product. To get an idea as to whether your product is aligned with the core tenets of learning science research… try using a checklist like Kaplan’s Educational Product Evaluation Checklist.”
The checklist covers twelve areas deemed essential to product satisfaction: objectives, assessment, practice, examples, information, multimedia, overviews, integration, motivation, organisation, usability, and personalisation.