Virtual School Meanderings

May 29, 2020

Review Finds EdTech Claims Can Be Misleading – You Don’t Say?

So this item came through my inbox in the past 7-10 days and I’ve been mulling over what to say about it.

Review finds edtech claims can be misleading
Education-technology companies often make bold promises about their products’ effectiveness, particularly regarding students’ academic gains. However, a review of three companies’ claims finds that the research on which they are based is dubious and could be misleading.

Full Story: The Hechinger Report (5/20)

I have to be honest and say that I’m disappointed – but not surprised – that this “finding” has been big news.

Let’s forget about the whole media/technology doesn’t impact learning perspective, that has been the dominant view in the field of educational technology for decades.  And for those to whom this is news, technology is a medium through which instruction is delivery.  What impacts learning is how that instruction is designed, delivered, and supported.

But does it really surprise anyone that corporations use selective and misleading data to promote their products?  I mean tobacco companies still won’t admit that smoking is bad for you.  Fast food companies still make claims about the healthiness of their products.  Why do we expect corporations involved in the educational sphere to act any differently?

The more important question, in my opinion, is given this reality that I think we can all pretty much agree upon…  Why do we still allow corporations to directly or indirectly operate public schools?

A deep question for you to ponder over the weekend.


  1. It would have been more interesting to check some of the bigger companies. But that might have put some financing in jeopardy.

    Comment by onlinelearningevangelist — May 29, 2020 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

    • Come on now Ray, this is “The Hechinger Report” we are talking about. You really think they’d hold off knocking their financial contributors?

      Comment by Michael K. Barbour — May 29, 2020 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

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