Working Group A
The Role of Research in K12 District Decision-Making

What sources of information are K-12 district and school leaders currently using to make education technology purchasing decisions? How is efficacy research used in their decision-making processes? How often do districts conduct their own investigations / research into the efficacy of various EdTech products?

Working Group A: Blog
The Role of Research in K12 District Decision-Making
October 5, 2016

Many organizations and school districts are working to improve K-12 procurement – i.e. the process of discovering, evaluating, purchasing, and implementing technology. These efforts have identified a set of challenges that schools and school districts face when trying to achieve their goals with purchased technology, including lack of access to reliable and valid product efficacy research. Without this information, many districts rely heavily on peer recommendations and pilots to inform purchasing decisions. Still, the process and culture of purchase decision-making within schools and districts, and the role of research in that process, is not well understood.

Deeper understanding of the practices and culture of K-12 procurement is needed to identify challenges and potential solutions for improving K-12 procurement. Our Working Group seeks to illustrate the overall logic model that organizes school and district’s technology purchasing and other related implementation decisions. We will conduct and publish a set of case studies that trace a past procurement decision making process in one school or district from discovery to post-implementation evaluation. With the resulting logic model and supporting interviews, we hope to develop a tool that any school, district, or organization can use to guide their education technology procurement-related decisions.

Our Working Group will select initial case study sites based on an initial demographic analysis of districts and schools. We hope to select subjects, schools and school districts, that are potentially representative of many others. If you or your organization are working with a school or school district that would like to participate as an initial case study site please email research@digitalpromise.org.



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Working Group Leaders
Aubrey Francisco
Research Director
Digital Promise
Hal Friedlander
CEO
Technology for Education Consortium
Research Lead
Sara Dexter
Associate Professor
University of Virginia
Working Group Members
Adam Geller
Founder & CEO
Edthena
Britt Neuhaus
Innovative Schools Program Officer
Overdeck Family Foundation
Christina Luke
Project Director, Marketplace Research
Digital Promise
Dwight Jones
Superintendent in Residence
Discovery Communications Inc.
Jessie Woolley-Wilson
President & CEO
DreamBox Learning
Joshua Starr
CEO
Phi Delta Kappa International
Karen Cator
President and CEO
Digital Promise
Katrina Stevens
Education Consultant
Leslie Ledford
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Cherokee County School District (NC)
Maia Sharpley
Executive Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives
Charter Schools USA
Mark Miller
Co-Founder and Partner; Managing Partner
LearnLaunch; Good Harbor Partners
Terry Nealon
CEO
Fishtree
Tim Hudson
Vice President of Learning
DreamBox Learning
Logistics Lead
Michelle Dreyband
Executive Assistant
Digital Promise
Hal Friedlander
CEO
Technology for Education Consortium
Prior to starting TEC, Hal was Chief Information Officer of New York City schools, America's largest school district, with over 1 million students, 100,000 employees, and 1,800 schools.
Adam Geller
Founder & CEO
Edthena
Adam leads product for the award-winning Edthena video coaching platform. A former classroom teacher, Adam previously served on the Teach For America national strategy team designing research-informed technology systems for teachers.
Aubrey Francisco
Research Director
Digital Promise
Aubrey has Research & Development experience in both the biomedical and education fields. She currently leads Digital Promise's research communication and ed tech pilot efforts.
Britt Neuhaus
Innovative Schools Program Officer
Overdeck Family Foundation
Britt began her career as a teacher in NYC. Prior to joining Overdeck Family Foundation, she was the Director of Special Projects at the NYC DOE’s iZone, where she supported the implementation of innovative school models across the city.
Christina Luke
Project Director, Marketplace Research
Digital Promise
Christina is a high school English teacher turned education researcher. At Digital Promise, she serves as the project director for Marketplace Research. Through her work, she aims to build district capacity for conducting research and improve the use of research in ed-tech product development.
Dwight Jones
Superintendent in Residence
Discovery Communications Inc.
Dwight has worked in education most of his adult life. He has served as an elementary and middle school teacher; elementary, middle and high school principal; coach and athletic director; assistant superintendent; superintendent and state commissioner of education.
Hal Friedlander
CEO
Technology for Education Consortium
Prior to starting TEC, Hal was Chief Information Officer of New York City schools, America's largest school district, with over 1 million students, 100,000 employees, and 1,800 schools.
Jessie Woolley-Wilson
President & CEO
DreamBox Learning
Jessie previously held several executive positions in leading EdTech companies including, Kaplan, LeapFrog and Blackboard. Recognized by Forbes “Impact 15,” she has dedicated her career to expanding access to high quality learning experiences for all students through industry leading innovative technologies.
Joshua Starr
CEO
Phi Delta Kappa International
Joshua has been CEO of PDK International since June 2015. He began his career as a Special Education teacher in Brooklyn, NY and served as superintendent of Montgomery County, MD and Stamford, CT.
Karen Cator
President and CEO
Digital Promise
Karen is a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. She previously served as Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the department, Karen directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education.
Katrina Stevens
Education Consultant
Katrina works to bring together diverse stakeholders across the ed tech landscape to make better tools for learning. She formerly served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology overseeing Future Ready, the Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach, education innovation clusters and developer outreach.
Leslie Ledford
Instructional Technology Facilitator
Cherokee County School District (NC)
Leslie assists teachers and principals through analysis of instructional data and recommends technology enhancements to improve their ability to meet the needs of their curriculum and instructional practice. Prior to her current role, Leslie was a classroom teacher for 11 years.
Maia Sharpley
Executive Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives
Charter Schools USA
Maia executes innovative partnerships and quality solutions for students and teachers. She previously worked for Kaplan and served in a variety of executive positions with the New York City Department of Education and as strategy consultant for management consulting firms.
Mark Miller
Co-Founder and Partner; Managing Partner
LearnLaunch; Good Harbor Partners
Mark is a lifelong entrepreneur since winning the business plan competition at Cornell University and building one of the earliest first education publishing subscription businesses. He has co-founded, built and/or served as executive chairman or CEO for numerous leading publishing, technology and community companies.
Michelle Dreyband
Executive Assistant
Digital Promise
Michelle brings experience in volunteer management, event planning, and arts administration to Digital Promise. In her last position at the San Francisco Symphony, Michelle supported all large-scale fundraising events and managed major donors and sponsors lists.
Sara Dexter
Associate Professor
University of Virginia
Sara's experience in administration at the school district level brings a unique perspective concerning the systemic implementation and integration of technology at the district, school, and classroom level. Her research interests lie in exploring the relationship between educational leadership, technology leadership, and resource management.
Terry Nealon
CEO
Fishtree
Terry started his career in software. In 2005 he ran sports/HIV programs in South Africa, after which time he served as EVP International for Riverdeep/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt before co-founding the personalized learning company Fishtree in 2012.
Tim Hudson
Vice President of Learning
DreamBox Learning
Tim spent over 10 years in public education, both as a high school math teacher and a K–12 math coordinator. At DreamBox, he oversees the development of innovative learning experiences that engage students in mathematical thinking and provide teachers with useful information to support differentiation and personalization in their classrooms.
In The News
Click on the stories below to read what people are saying about our Symposium and the importance of efficacy in EdTech.