News

A new ‘Seal of Endorsement’ for teachers evaluating ed-tech

By Laura Devaney
October 23rd, 2015

GEI’s seal of endorsement process conducts product evaluations by teachers based on real-world use in their classrooms

seal-of-endorsementGlobal Educator Institute (GEI) has introduced a new twist to the traditional “Seal of Approval” model.

Created specifically to serve the educational market, GEI places learning products into the hands of teachers, who evaluate them based on classroom use and a vigorous assessment process.

“Our goal is very simple. We want to help teachers and administrators choose the best-designed, most effective classroom products available,” said CEO Katy Bainbridge. “Products that receive our endorsement will have been used and vetted in classrooms by teachers from around the country.”

What began as an idea two years ago to help teachers discover the best (and often overlooked or unknown) learning products has turned into a global community of educators, reviewers, and producers.

In addition, GEI’s team of writers is dedicated to improving pre-K-12 learning by documenting and disseminating proven strategies for student success through its growing online community. GEI’s daily articles spotlight teacher-backed solutions and provide tools and resources that improve how children learn in the physical classroom.

The GEI evaluation process is efficient and effective. Products are shipped to classrooms in five school districts that match the target audience, and are used in the classroom for six weeks. Teachers monitor and rate them for effectiveness, durability, value, and ease of use.

Products seeking the GEI Seal of Endorsement are judged using an in-depth evaluation rubric, designed by members of the GEI executive team. GEI reviewers submit their qualitative and quantitative feedback for review and analysis by the executive team, which then determines whether or not the product is awarded a GEI Seal of Endorsement. The GEI executive team has more than 100 years combined teaching and administrative experience, and includes a PhD and a nationally recognized educational consultant. The executive team holds more than 20 education certifications from the state of Ohio, including special education, secondary math, early literacy, principal licensing, and more.

Hundreds of teachers have registered to serve as GEI reviewers, with more added every day. “GEI gives teachers the unique opportunity to review materials and have real input,” said GEI reviewer John Widman, a seventh-grade math instructor in Dublin, Ohio. “I like the fact that GEI does not endorse all products.”

In fact, fewer than 50 percent of products submitted to GEI receive the organization’s endorsement. “The executive team looks at all the reviews and makes an informed decision,” said Widman. “GEI’s goal is good quality products, not mass quantities of products.”

Educational product manufacturers value this new opportunity to receive teacher commentary and, if endorsed, stand out in a crowded market. “The feedback we received on products we submitted for review to GEI was incredibly valuable, said Sue Gaon, vice president of Lakeshore Learning Materials. “We were honored to receive the GEI Seal of Endorsement as we know the evaluation process was rigorous and well thought-out.”

In addition to seeking the GEI Seal of Endorsement for products available to teachers and administrators, manufacturers have discovered another benefit of Global Educator Institute. GEI is quickly becoming a valuable resource for fast, affordable real-world product testing of pre-market prototypes.

For more information about the GEI Seal of Endorsement, submitting a product for consideration, or subscribing to be a reviewer, please visit GEIendorsed.com.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura