During the 2017–18 school year, Silicon Valley Education Foundation(SVEF)’s iHub team partnered with WestEd and two school districts in the region to conduct a study on what math EdTech products are in use in 7th grade, how they are being used, and if they have an impact on student achievement. The study used a mixed-methods approach to draw its conclusions, including classroom observation of product usage, focus groups with students, and test data from the annual California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
One product that was used in the math classrooms we observed across all districts was i-Ready Math, an individualized instruction platform. We conducted student focus groups on its usage as part of a six-month series of observations in 7th-grade classrooms. One hundred students participated in fourteen i-Ready focus groups, facilitated by SVEF or WestEd staff. The students were given a chance to report their direct experience with i-Ready Math in an open-ended question format. The common themes we heard across the schools and classrooms were: adaptive support, the time value of learning, and engagement. What we heard in these conversations pertains specifically to i-Ready Math, but we believe that these themes are applicable to many EdTech providers serving our students.
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Image credit: i-Ready