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Resources to learn about software: the "consumer reports" of ed tech

Video transskription
- So we've talked about what different types of software are out there and how you choose them, so now let's dive into the resources that help you make that choice. - Yeah, and in ed tech there's actually some new entrants that are making this kind of interesting. And the one approach is to have sort of an editorial voice. You think about Consumer Reports. I would rarely buy a new piece of electronics before going over to CNET and reading what the experts say about it. But because the ed tech space is actually quite small right now, it's actually hard to imagine any one organization building up the resources to staff it the way a CNET would. So you can have the editorial voice, and that's good, but we might need another version as well. - So we're seeing a second option also arise, which is leveraging this notion of crowdsourcing. And what we mean by that is actually taking the reviews of actual users themselves, parents, teachers, even students in some cases, and saying, how did this software work for you? What are its potential upsides as well as what are its drawbacks? And now, this approach itself has some upsides and drawbacks because it can be really useful in harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, but it also might, as we've seen on certain travel sites, not always give you the best information. It can be gamed in certain ways or, quite frankly, maybe your review isn't going to be applicable to me in my situation. - But compared to having nothing at all, these are really good, helpful tools for educators, and we're gonna point you towards two particular new resources, Common Sense Media and EdSurge. Now, Common Sense Media is well known for their reviews of children's television and movies, and giving parents information they need to make good decisions about that kind of entertainment media. They've also now launched a new product called Graphite, which is trying to do the same thing to provide teachers and parents information about ed tech software. - So, EdSurge is also doing something like this. It's well known already for its newsletters that basically give you a weekly update on all that's going on with ed tech in the world from K12 through higher education, but what they're starting to do is create this thing called the Edtech Index, and this is a place for the same sorts of activities, where teachers can actually review these products and say what's working or not for them. Now, a couple other resources that are also out there are Learning List and edshelf. So basically, we're just seeing the early emergence of a lot of players trying to use this crowdsourcing to help you make better decisions in picking your software.