EdTech Research

These studies examine EdTech products and aim to help build better understanding of how they are being used in classrooms and the impact they have on student learning.

Khan Academy in 7th Grade Math Classes: A Case Study

June 2019

Similar to other studies of Khan Academy, this is an implementation study. It was conducted in two districts, with six participating 7th grade classrooms and three teachers. The study puts forth questions about who Khan Academy is serving best and the learning affordances of different features of the product. The study’s data are primarily qualitative in nature, drawn from over 28 Khan Academy-focused classroom observations, focus groups with over 100 students, and teacher interviews.

Overall, the study found that Khan Academy is a useful tool, and that teachers and students appreciated it as a resource for practice and reinforcement of math learning. At the same time, we also have concerns about the potential of edtech products like Khan Academy to, unintentionally, exacerbate the achievement gap. We hope this study will be a call for additional research into how to best support struggling learners, and that developers integrate that research into their product designs.

Brief: iReady in 7th Grade Math Classes: A Mixed Methods Case Study

June 2019

The landscape of programs and options that constitute “computer- aided instruction” or “computer-aided learning” has changed dramatically in recent years. However, independent research of edtech products, as well as an understanding of whether and how they are being used in classrooms, has not kept pace with development. This brief summarizes details from a larger mixed methods study that aimed to address these issues by examining the implementation and effectiveness of edtech products in 7th grade.

Specifically, this study focuses on one commonly used edtech product, i-Ready. It examines which students are best served by the technology, in what ways, and under what circumstances. The qualitative data in this study include data on nearly 150 7th grade students in six math classrooms located in two coastal northern Californian districts over the 2017–18 school year. The quantitative data drew from 1,759 7th grade students in the two districts.

Find the full report here.