Innovate NYC Schools is building a robust edtech ecosystem that enables smarter technology solutions for schools by fostering better relationships between the tech industry and educators, students, and parents.
Our work improves the exchange of information between educators, who understand authentic needs within school communities, and those who design and fund the development of new solutions to meet those need.
We think the best edtech tools are created when startups partner with educators.
Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge
Today’s procurement landscape has shifted dramatically and decisions about what products are used in the classroom are far more complex; educators may have access to hundreds of software products and licenses are typically renewed every year. School leaders need better information to decide what edtech products will be effective in such a massive marketplace.
Building on what we’ve learned from the Gap App Challenge, iZone launched the Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge (SCEC)—a call for cutting-edge personalized learning programs and innovative teachers to evaluate who edtech products works for, when, and under what circumstances. SCEC matches school teacher teams with edtech companies to pilot new products that address the needs of their students. Educators gain news skills implementing technology and assessing what works in their classroom, and have the opportunity to shape edtech tools that solve real classroom needs.
Through SCEC, iZone is developing a new process for edtech piloting that is less intensive than Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and more robust than product reviews. This new short-cycle process provides more timely information to educators and school leaders so they can make more informed decisions about implementing technology tools that support student achievement. Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SCEC is one of three national test-beds to design short-cycle edtech pilots.
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During the 2014-15 school year, iZone matched 40 NYC educators with 10 edtech product to address needs including data and visualizations on student progress in core subjects, Common-Core aligned content, and online formative assessments. Check out the videos below to hear more about their experience.