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  • Writer's pictureErin Mote

New Principles for Edtech Technology Trialing Environments from the Global EdTech Trialing Network

In March 2023, education leaders from across the world convened in Rome, Italy at the inaugural Global EdTech Testbed Network(GETN) event. The discussion focused on how the fields of education technology, research, and K12 education could come together to learn how to better develop and evaluate the effectiveness of education technologies in authentic classroom settings. Participants were policymakers, researchers, school practitioners, non-profit leaders, philanthropists, and venture capitalists from Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA), South America, and the United States.

The white paper, “Towards Systemic EdTech Testbeds: A Global Perspective” was released in advance of the convening, exploring the global context of testbeds, or the real-world learning environment (classrooms or anywhere that K12 learning occurs) where education technology testing take place, and how they are systematically implemented. At this meeting, a small group of education researchers, practitioners, investors, philanthropists, and policymakers from the United States committed to working together to accelerate the success and scale of effective, usable products that enhance learning for students. This group has continued to meet and ideate, ultimately creating the tenets and principles discussed in this document.

These tenets and principles are intended to be a resource to help guide the creation and sustainability of Testbeds, or Trialing Environments.

The tenets and principles were created to:

• adapt the GETN principles and ideas for a US context

• provide a shared language to guide the ongoing structuring of R&D Trialing Networks and Trialing Environments, and

• bring more cohesion to R&D Trialing Network practices within the United States.

While this group believes in the need for innovation across the entire education sector (innovations in policy, pedagogy, staffing models, the teaching experience, higher-ed institutions, etc.), this document will only speak to R&D practices involving education technologies (EdTech) in real-world classrooms and learning environments. Introduction A Global Movement4

Additionally, the term “R&D Trialing Network,” is expansive and speaks to many types of research within the education sector. R&D occurs across a continuum by many individuals and organizations, in the United States and beyond, who are making valuable contributions to this ecosystem. For this specific document, we will be using the term “R&D Trialing Networks” to refer to organized groupings of Trialing Environments, also known as Testbeds. The tenets and principles were created with the goal of enabling increased community building, collaboration, and resource sharing. They are not meant to be taken as prescriptive; we anticipate that groups will adopt some of these principles, modify them, and/or disregard some based on their needs and goals. Our hope is that these tenets and principles are helpful and generate shared learning and collaboration across the field. Finally, it is also important to note that this document is version 1. We plan to keep updating this document as our collective learning continues to evolve. Specifically, we’re eager to incorporate the insights of our learning communities and school districts, and welcome feedback.

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