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How to Vet Good Educational Software

As the nation ramps up for the new school year, government procurement agents may find themselves in the market for educational software that facilitates remote learning. This could be a relatively novel purchase as our focus shifts from in-person to online learning. Many of the country’s largest school districts are going completely online or have an online option, with other school districts following their lead. 

Teachers and parents are looking for educational software that will ease the remote learning process and become a solid base for education and scholastic growth. Government purchasing agents have massive amounts of educational software options, and their decision on which educational software to select will have an enormous impact on educational outcomes. Here are a few things to keep in mind as they vet educational software: 

Focused on instruction – There’s a difference between instruction and sharing information. Instruction will allow teachers and students to communicate back and forth instead of simply having the student read or watch information in an educational silo.

Engages Students – It’s vital that the software engages students in a variety of ways and also has some sort of positive reinforcement that keeps students focused and on track. This could include gamification functionality.

Intuitive interface – Navigation and user interface are key. Especially for younger elementary students, you’ll want the software to be easy to use. Also, think of parents who will be working from home and assisting their young students. You don’t want them to be hunting around for the next lesson. Make sure it’s simple.

Student progress tracking – Just as in the classroom, teachers will want to be able to monitor the progress of their students as well as allow them to revisit lessons that could use more attention. Select software that allows teachers to see individual students’ progress.

Communication – Teachers, students, and parents all need to be able to communicate with each other through the software interface. Keeping everyone on the same page is essential to student success and progress.

Privacy and Security – Protect teachers and students from bad actors by ensuring that the educational software you purchase has the highest levels of privacy and security. This will safeguard both student progress (keeping it private) and secure the classroom from outside interference. 

Reviews and recommendations – Online learning isn’t new; it’s simply commencing at a higher level of saturation. Reaching out to teachers who have already been facilitating the process for years can be helpful. Check out reviews of potential software and then confirm with teachers who are experts. They may be able to pass on valuable insight. 

Go vet it!
Government procurement agents can have an incredibly positive effect on the upcoming school year by taking time to thoroughly evaluate and invest in education software that facilitates a holistic online experience including a wide range of instructional capabilities.

Have you already found educational software for your district or county? Share your choice and reasoning with us in the comments!