As part of our ed tech virtual accelerator program, NewSchools and WestEd co-developed an ed tech product review rubric that has been modified for each of the NewSchools Ed Tech challenges. The rubric is used to provide ventures with formative product feedback from educators and researchers, which can inform product development and helps to set the stage for additional product research.

The rubric includes ten categories that have been identified as being integral to successful ed tech product development: academic content, standards alignment, principles of learning science, instruction and pedagogy, affordances of technology, bias and sensitivity, social and emotional learning, engagement and inspiration, usability, and classroom implementation. Within each category, the rubric includes an essential question as well as three indicator criteria to guide reviewers’ responses.

How to use: We recommend that each reviewer spends approximately one-hour with each product, taking note of evidence indicating the extent to which the product is addressing the essential question within each category. Based on these observations, reviewers can also provide suggestions for how developers might address the issues raised. A similar process can be used again in the future in order to capture product changes that are aligned with the feedback received.