How It Works - Product Certifications

Edtech has the potential to transform learning opportunities and experiences when product designs center learner needs and priorities.

Standards would help those of us being bombarded with products and give us a sense of who to talk to and who we shouldn’t waste our time on.
District Leader
League of Innovative Schools

Educators consistently say that it is difficult to compare the quality of products. Many edtech products make claims about effectiveness and expected learning gains, but few products can substantiate those claims with research trusted by education stakeholders.

The Product Certification Criteria define the research standards edtech products should be held to, while the product certifications indicate which edtech tools meet those standards. Together, the Criteria and certifications offer the following solutions:

  • Educators and education leaders can quickly identify products designed to address each student’s variability.
  • Educators and education leaders can compare products using reliable measures.
  • Educators and education leaders can demand products that offer powerful learning experiences tailored to each unique learner.
  • Product developers can identify and understand authentic needs from the field, including attention to research, learner variability, and equity in design and continuous improvement.
Educators and administrators, drawing from student experiences, identify a high-priority edtech product feature or design element (e.g., research-based design, learner variability, etc.).
Content experts, including educators, researchers and product designers, co-create certification and criteria.
Using Digital Promise’s competency-based framework, an application for edtech tools is developed.
The certification is piloted with product developers to ensure it is valid and reliable.
The certification is launched publicly as a signal to educators that a demonstration of the product’s features have been formally verified.

Product certifications offer educators and administrators trustworthy information about edtech products to support evidence-based decision making.

Product certifications articulate discrete criteria, prioritized by educators and administrators. Edtech applicants provide specific evidence to demonstrate that the tool meets the criteria.
Each product certification development process engages educators and administrators in defining the criteria and undergoes multiple rounds of testing with products to ensure a meaningful signal to consumers and a streamlined process for product applicants.
Products can start and continue their product certification journeys on their own time, without deadlines. Applications remain open permanently.
Product certifications are Open Badges which can be displayed on product websites and edtech procurement platforms.

With all things equal, we would select a certified product over a non-certified product every time.
Vicky Ozment
Deputy Superintendent, Talladega County Schools, Alabama

Digital Promise has designed a framework to guide the development of each product certification through a collaborative R&D process. The framework ensures that each product certification:

  • Focuses on a single competency
  • Identifies a key method backed by educator and administrator expertise
  • Requires the submission of evidence
  • Includes a rubric or scoring guide

All product certifications earned on Digital Promise’s Product Certification Platform are Open Badges. Open Badges are:

  • Verifiable: Open Badges can be verified for authenticity.
  • Portable: Open Badges can be transferred between any Open Badge standard-compliant system without losing or mishandling any data.
  • Controllable: Product companies that earn the Open Badge can control where they share their Open Badge and in what systems it lives.

How does it work?

Products can earn product certifications in four steps:

Select a product certification domain to see whether the product meets the criteria.
Collect the required evidence demonstrating the product has met the criteria.
Submit evidence. Product companies will receive results within four (4) weeks of submission. If the product does not earn the certification, applicants will receive confidential feedback and are welcome to re-apply.
Share the product’s certification status. Download a shareable digital badge or share directly via social media.

Our Values

We believe in…

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We seek out thought partners and experts from a wide range of identities and experiences, with particular emphasis on historically disenfranchised communities, to create an edtech marketplace that attends to each unique learner.
Learner Variability
Research continues to demonstrate that students enter school with different abilities, considerations, and backgrounds. By understanding the factors and variability involved in learning, edtech products can support instruction that meets the needs of each unique learner and create a more equitable education system.
Transparency and Accountability
Transparency in our own work enables us to gain feedback and insights from diverse thought partners.

Improving learning with the power of technology

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