Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Rubric to Navigate the EdTech Swamp?

Swamp by T Hall, on Flickr

Assessing innovation is a bit like navigating a green, mold-filled swamp. While there is clearly a lot of activity and life in a swamp, it's a bit difficult to tell exactly what is lurking below the surface.

Yup. Innovation is like that.

When innovation begins, everyone is excited by the promise and delight of something shiny, fast, and new. However, as the change begins to take shape over the long haul, there are often frightening realities underneath.

EdTech, one of the most prominent innovations in the space, has long suffered from the "swamp-navigation" problem. While the technology itself does hold enormous promise, we've generally done a pretty poor job of measuring the impact of these solutions on learning.

Michael Fullan and Katelyn Donnelly have tried to bring some transparency to the swamp of ed tech innovation by creating a rubric that identifies and describes the most critical components to create a successful, impactful edtech innovation that changes the way that learning looks. (For the better, of course!)

Check out this rubric from the report. (You can download the entire report here.)

Finding success requires a careful integration of knowledge, analysis, and leadership. While this rubric certainly won't solve all of our problems, it does lay out a starting place for measuring innovation.

What matters gets measured, and it can also help us find our way out of the swamp!

Photo Credit:
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  T Hall 


  1. Thank you for sharing this valuable resource. Assessing the (positive) outcomes of integration of technology in education is really the weakest point of the process. I keep on thinking that long term outcomes will be assessed only later in the successful lives of our students, but that is no ground for not assessing many short term measurable outcomes, however.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Metrics for those year over year outcomes are critical!!!! I'm biased, but here's the research organization that does exactly that work:

  3. No bias, just useful information for me and my school, maybe. Thanks again!

  4. Hah, I meant that because I'm spending endless hours each week doing this research. ;-) #researchnerd