Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge


In NYC Schools, educators may have access to hundreds of software products and licenses are typically renewed each year without reliable information about what works. We believe that school leaders need better information to decide what edtech products will be effective given this massive marketplace.

Building on what we’ve learned from the Gap App Challenge, iZone launched the Short-Cycle Evaluation Challenge (SCEC) in 2014—a call for cutting-edge personalized learning tools 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. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SCEC is one of seven national test-beds to design short-cycle edtech pilots.

Ready to apply to the SY 2016-17 cohort of SCEC? Read our blog post to learn more about the process and application.

Fast Facts

  • Nearly 100 educators and 24 edtech companies have participated in SCEC edtech pilots since school year 2014-15.
  • School teams have piloted edtech tools to support personalized learning including assessing student mastery and delivering differentiated content depending on student needs.
  • iZone is doing this work in partnership with the member institutions of the Learning Assembly.


Hear about the SCEC experience from educators and companies who have participated in these videos:

Elevating educator voice in the development of edtech products from iZone on Vimeo.