Nesta recently published a report I did with Katelyn Donnelly called Alive in the Swamp, Assessing Digital Innovations in Education.
Alive in the Swamp provides an actionable guide to learning technology that will allow founders, funders, and teachers to make better decisions. It identifies persistent gaps in innovation activity and points to what needs to be done if we are to finally make good on the promise of technology to transform learning. We argue that we should seek digital innovations that produce at least twice the learning outcome for half the cost of our current tools, and to achieve this, three forces need to come together. One is technology, the second is pedagogy, and the third is change knowledge, or how to secure transformation across an entire school system.
The core of the report is the development of an Index that brings these three elements together, and which allows us to systematically evaluate new digital innovations. We hope that the Index will be used to guide decision making, policy making and innovation effort.
As Michael Barber notes in his foreword: the future, will belong not to those who focus on the technology alone, but to those who place it in the wider context of what we know about maximizing learning and realizing system impact. The development of this Index helps advance that goal.
For Tom Vander Ark’s comments on the report, please visit: