Does edtech work?

Why do you think your solution works?

This question was asked by Rose Luckin to some of the world brightest edtech entrepreneurs gathered in London for the GESA – Global Edtech Startups Awards – final event last January, 23.

Sometimes seemingly innocent questions happen to be very tricky. This is the case with edtech innovators. This is THE question they don’t like to hear!

Why does it work? No clear answers emerged:

- because we know it

- because our sales are growing

- because our users tell us so

- because all our learners found a job

- because you can read it in the press…


Rose – and many of us – wanted strong evidences that demonstrate the impact of an edtech solution on learning.

Her latest book – Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology – raises three main questions:

- how and why learning happens and how different technologies can enhance it
- how engage a variety of learners through technology and helping them benefit from it
- how technology can support teaching.

book rose

Edtech entrepreneurs should depart from complacency, take their impact analysis one step further and investigate their real impact on learning.

There are many ways to do it:

-       Embed impact analysis in the whole learning process

-       Run randomized controlled trial directly with their users

-       Partner with independent evaluators to coordinate the process

But more importantly, edtech entrepreneurs should take into account the results of the impact analysis to adapt their solutions to users’ needs.

Edtech magic requires evidence to succeed. Olli Vallo from Kokoa in Finland will agree. His agency just does this: test and validate edtech solutions to help schools and teachers make the right choices.

One advice then for all edtech lovers: look at the evidence!


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