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Online Teaching Tool in Development from the Education Department

The U.S. Department of Education is spearheading the push for schools to become more connected nationwide. Currently, the department is developing an online tool that can help educators make more educated decisions on how to properly incorporate technology into the classroom.

“Katrina Stevens, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology, says that realizing the potential of technology depends on the availability of effective apps,” according to EdTechMagazine.

“Stevens has been spearheading the development of an online tool to help guide education leaders through their decision-making process.”

Technology and money can go wasted if educators are not properly educated on how to select the right tools for the classroom. Stevens says that the process of selecting the right technology is challenging because many educators don’t know where to startespecially since there are so many tools on the market.

The new system should work like a rubric, where educators input their needs. Then they will be assisted with asking the necessary questions to their providers, rather than just being persuaded to buy the technology.

“The tool will not make recommendations about particular apps,” according to the report.

“If you’re using something for a week in a class, and it costs $1, then you don’t need the same level of evidence,” says Stevens.

“But if it's something you’re using across disciplines, for a multimillion dollar contract, you’ll want a much higher level of evidence before you decide what you’re using.”

The department plans on having the code for the tool available for free, and it will also enable others to build upon any gaps in the application. It’s an open development app that could change the entire buyers' process of education technology. Companies will start to realize that educators want to become smarter about and more efficient with their choices for classroom tech.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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