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Five leading-edge K-12 districts’ decision-making processes for EdTech innovations

Five leading-edge K-12 districts’ decision-making processes for EdTech innovations The purpose of this study was to better understand K-12 district leaders' reasoning and processes for selecting and deploying EdTech instructional products, including which, if any, types of data are used to support decision-making.Design/methodology/approachThis multisite case study of educational technology (EdTech) decision-making comprises five purposely selected districts at the leading edge of EdTech innovation. The unit of analysis was a recent purchase they had made of an instructional, classroom-oriented digital product (defined as a product used by teachers and/or students in the classroom for the purposes of student learning). The key leader heading up the purchase was interviewed, as were other leaders and a teacher who were involved in the decision-making process.FindingsThe processes districts used to make their purchasing decisions involved teachers, district leaders and technical specialists who considered usability, usage data and alignment with student learning and interoperability, respectively. While in some cases there were plans to collect data on student learning outcomes, districts did not uniformly emphasize that in their decision-making processes. Instead, the type of educational technology tool that was purchased influenced whether or not districts planned to seek out student-level outcome data as evidence of the product's efficacy. For the purchases associated with access to content, school leaders considered usage or log data generated by the program itself as sufficient indication that the program is “working.” Where the software's functionality encompassed skill development, leaders stated future plans to look at student-level outcomes as a means for judging if the program “worked.”Originality/valueFew accounts of district decision-making about the adoption of educational technology innovations are present in the literature. These five cases provide insight into the role evidence plays in decisions to adopt educational technology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Educational Administration Emerald Publishing

Five leading-edge K-12 districts’ decision-making processes for EdTech innovations

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References (29)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0957-8234
DOI
10.1108/jea-10-2020-0222
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to better understand K-12 district leaders' reasoning and processes for selecting and deploying EdTech instructional products, including which, if any, types of data are used to support decision-making.Design/methodology/approachThis multisite case study of educational technology (EdTech) decision-making comprises five purposely selected districts at the leading edge of EdTech innovation. The unit of analysis was a recent purchase they had made of an instructional, classroom-oriented digital product (defined as a product used by teachers and/or students in the classroom for the purposes of student learning). The key leader heading up the purchase was interviewed, as were other leaders and a teacher who were involved in the decision-making process.FindingsThe processes districts used to make their purchasing decisions involved teachers, district leaders and technical specialists who considered usability, usage data and alignment with student learning and interoperability, respectively. While in some cases there were plans to collect data on student learning outcomes, districts did not uniformly emphasize that in their decision-making processes. Instead, the type of educational technology tool that was purchased influenced whether or not districts planned to seek out student-level outcome data as evidence of the product's efficacy. For the purchases associated with access to content, school leaders considered usage or log data generated by the program itself as sufficient indication that the program is “working.” Where the software's functionality encompassed skill development, leaders stated future plans to look at student-level outcomes as a means for judging if the program “worked.”Originality/valueFew accounts of district decision-making about the adoption of educational technology innovations are present in the literature. These five cases provide insight into the role evidence plays in decisions to adopt educational technology.

Journal

Journal of Educational AdministrationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 2, 2021

Keywords: Decision-making; Technology; Leadership

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