Giving Compass' Take:

• The 74 explores the field of ed tech and finds that digital tools are most effective when they give teachers the ability to enhance their lessons and focus their time.

• Education initiatives should take a step back and see how they are engaging teachers with classroom technology that makes sense in the context of their approaches. How can donors be of help?

Here's how educators can make ed tech research work better for their schools

According to popular theory, Chromebooks, iPads, and other technology will revolutionize classroom learning, and students will need much more of it in order to be prepared for the 21st century economy.

There’s no doubt that education technology can make a big difference in the classroom. But the facts show that the key to closing the achievement gap is not providing more technology to students, but rather putting the right ed tech into the hands of teachers.

One frequently touted benefit of digital tools, for instance, is that they are self-pacing, allowing students to progress on their own through individualized learning programs. However, a meta-analysis by Duke University researchers of 23 studies examining the efficacy of intelligent tutoring systems showed that self-paced education technology may actually exacerbate achievement gaps by allowing already high-performing students to progress while leaving underperforming students to flounder.

A better way to improve outcomes and close the achievement gap is to give teachers effective digital tools that are purposefully designed to improve instruction and empower teachers to better focus their time and resources.

Read the full article about why ed tech needs to support teachers by Neil T. Heffernan at The 74.