YPO helps find best-fit edtech for every school
A partnership launched to help schools tackle edtech challenges has reported early success with more than 700 primary and secondary schools, including four large Multi-Academy Trusts, and several international school groups, already using a new free online platform to choose technology products for their schools.
YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, has provided investment to develop the free online platform, ‘Edtech Impact’, which is leading the way in edtech innovation. Developed by Innovate My School, it guides teachers and school leaders through more than 1000 edtech products by evaluating the impact of different solutions to understand 'what works' in their classroom environment.
The unique partnership follows the government’s call for schools, leaders and tech companies to think in innovative ways to enable teachers, pupils and parents to buy and use technology with confidence. When the Education Technology strategy was unveiled earlier this month, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds set out plans for tech firms to work with the education sector to cut teacher workload, support professional development and improve student outcomes.
Among the emerging edtech ventures available to schools are those helping teachers tackle subjects such as maths and English in a more innovative way, as well as teaching everything from robotics and coding to computing and creativity.
United Learning Trust’s director of technology Dominic Norrish said, “For me, the greatest challenge around edtech is that it’s hard for us to know what really works, with the limitations of what social research can prove and in a crowded marketplace suffused with sales rhetoric. Schools are forced to either subjectively review the entire edtech market or buy on recommendation, neither of which is optimal. Part of the answer is to provide schools with a simple way to rigorously and transferably evaluate the edtech they use and with Edtech Impact, we now have a solution which helps schools identify effective and appropriate technology for their context, reliability and with ease.”
YPO’s managing director Simon commented, “The overwhelming interest and engagement we’ve seen in the Edtech Impact platform since its launch earlier this year at The BETT Show, London, shows the important role it is set to play. The rapid evolution of technology means there’s a need to advance how education is delivered to young people, but making decisions about which technology to choose and introduce into schools can be difficult with limited time and expertise.
“What Edtech Impact delivers is robust evidence to measure the new technology’s impact so schools can make informed choices. This is directly in-line with the government’s strategy and represents the largest public evidence base in education for what works in schools. Given YPO’s role in supporting the buying decisions of schools over 45 years, this unique investment from our 13 owning councils represents a ground-breaking step to offer solutions to schools as they tackle today’s edtech challenges.”
More than 100 product profiles are featured on the platform, together with case studies and hundreds of reviews from schools reporting their experience of different technology products.
Edtech Impact’s founder and chief executive Michael Forshaw said, “We know that technology has the power to change lives. But up until now, schools have struggled to find out which edtech products will be most effective at improving specific educational outcomes. I am delighted that by way of a partnership with YPO, Edtech Impact is already making a positive difference to the way hundreds of schools discover, evaluate and procure edtech.
By asking suppliers to put impact at the heart of their business, we are able to ensure that schools in the UK and beyond can make the most informed decisions possible as regards edtech procurement, and get value for money. It has already been recognised as a best practice approach by Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System and we are excited to see the impact it has on supporting learning in schools.”
Visit www.edtechimpact.com for further information.