Is education software failing our schools?

The Web site of Carnegie Learning, a company started by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University that sells classroom software, trumpets this promise: “Revolutionary Math Curricula. Revolutionary Results,” reports the New York Times. The pitch has sounded seductive to thousands of schools across the country for more than a decade. But a review by the United States Department of Education last year would suggest a much less alluring come-on: Undistinguished math curricula. Unproven results. The federal review of Carnegie Learning’s flagship software, Cognitive Tutor, said the program had “no discernible effects” on the standardized test scores of high school students…

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New breed of student information systems is emerging

Experts say the future is all about the integration of best-of-breed applications.

The market for student information systems is undergoing tremendous change in the wake of several recent ed-tech mergers and acquisitions—and this trend has important implications for school software.

As large ed-tech companies swallow up smaller providers of student information systems, they are able to integrate new features into these programs, resulting in a new breed of school software that meets several needs of educators in a single solution. For instance, student information systems and learning management systems traditionally have been viewed as two separate software programs—but today, they are merging in ways that allow educators to track student achievement and personalize the learning process, all from the same system.

On the other hand, consolidation within the ed-tech industry is leaving educators with fewer choices for their school software providers.…Read More