Getting Smart Podcast | The Details Behind Pilot Design

This podcast is the second in a three-part series, on which Getting Smart is proud to have partnered with the Learning Assembly. In this series, we are exploring the most important lessons that the members of the Learning Assembly have learned through their work developing pilot programs for districts and schools looking to try new personalized learning and EdTech programs.

So you’ve decided that you want to plan a pilot for a new EdTech tool. (If you haven’t already made that decision, be sure check out our recent podcast on why pilots are a great tool for innovation.)

Where to start?

There are a number of factors that affect the outcome of, and reliability of information obtained in, a pilot, from the cultural right down to the technical.

In this podcast, we learn more about these factors from Laura Jackson and Joshua Marland (Project Manager and Director of Data & Analytics, respectively) of Highlander Institute, an organization that cultivates and disseminates innovative education solutions that improve educator and system capacity to provide personalized experiences for every learner. We also hear from Cameron Berube, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Providence Public Schools (a participant in one of Highlander’s pilots).

The key ideas that we discussed were the importance of strategic sample size, pilot duration, data usage, and collaboration between districts and their EdTech partners in the pilot process. For more on how to get these details right, listen to the podcast:

And, for more on pilot design, see:


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Erik Day

Erik manages projects for Getting Smart’s strategic advisory partnerships. With a system-oriented outlook and a background in marketing and communication, he oversees the details that ensure our partners’ initiatives are powerful and effective.

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