ED/IES SBIR: Advancing Research to Practice at Scale in Education

The Department of Education and Institute of Education Sciences Small Business Innovation Research Program (known as ED/IES SBIR), funds projects to develop and evaluate new education technology products that are ready to be widely deployed to address pressing educational needs.

Scaling Educational Products in Rural Communities: A Conversation with Allen Pratt

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately one in five public school students are enrolled in a school with a rural designation. Rural schools face unique challenges such as a lack of adequate resources, high transportation costs, difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers, and a shortage of professional development opportunities and early childhood services.

Who’s Who in District Procurement of Educational Products

School districts are typically the entryway for educational products to make it into the hands of students and teachers. However, the unique ecosystem of each district can make it challenging for product developers and vendors to know who to approach in a district to share information about a new educational product.

Lessons for Equitably Scaling Deeper Learning

Thinking critically, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, learning how to learn—these are the types of deeper learning competencies that students will need to master to be successful in the rapidly evolving future of work and citizenship.

Strategies for Bridging the Research-Practice Gap in Education

One of the central goals of the LEARN Network is to help educational products that already have a strong evidence base achieve scale. Despite strong evidence demonstrating their efficacy in improving learner outcomes, many educational products do not wind up in the hands of educators. A common misconception explaining this phenomenon is that education practitioners (superintendents, curriculum and instruction leaders, and principals) do not prioritize using research-based solutions.

When a Theory of Change Fails to Meet a Problem of Practice

When researchers seek to create a product, program, or intervention to enhance educational outcomes for students, they often start from a theoretical foundation. A theory of change, or a conceptual model based in research of how a specific product can lead to a desired change, is often the launchpad for creation.

What does it mean to “scale” an educational product?

“Scaling” a product in business typically means moving from a small number of “early adopters” to a larger number of “early majority” users. In the field of education, however, “scaling” an educational product or program has been more challenging to define.

Using the Invent-Apply-Transition Framework to Design Educational Innovations for Scale

Wide use of evidence-based educational innovations has the potential to accelerate learning and enhance outcomes for all learners. However, even when educational products have evidence of effectiveness, they do not often achieve scale. In other words, they are often not broadly adopted by schools and districts.

Designing and Scaling Equity-Focused Educational Products

When designing and scaling evidence-based educational products, it is critical to ensure they are relevant and accessible to the communities they aim to serve, or they might inadvertently cause harm. When creating evidence-based products, designers should gather input from, or sufficiently consider, the people most impacted by problematic practices, policies, funding allocations, and organizational cultures. Without such input, designers miss opportunities to authentically co-create products that support equitable student outcomes and meet user needs.

New IES network seeks to scale solutions to learning loss

The Leveraging Evidence to Accelerate Recovery Nationwide (LEARN) network, a new three-year grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and led by SRI International, constitutes one element of the federal strategy to address both long-standing student learning achievement gaps and those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.