District Administration magazine featured Hanover’s Leila Nuland, Managing Content Director for K-12, in its article “Edtech equalizers in special education.” Hanover provided expert insight on how schools and teachers are capitalizing on innovations in education technology.
“The number of apps now available can overwhelm educators searching for the right classroom tool. District tech leaders must find ways to help teachers vet products, including the growing number of open education resources, says Leila Nuland, managing research director for K12 at the consulting firm Hanover Research. Because advances in technology often outpace academic research, schools and districts should communicate with one another about the most effective new apps. Guidance can also be offered to teachers in professional development sessions. Some districts (such as Vancouver schools) have created catalogs of education apps for educators to use, Nuland says. The apps in Vancouver’s repository, which has a section for students on IEPs, have been vetted by the tech team and suggested by teachers. At Las Virgenes USD, the tech team sends out a weekly newsletter with suggested apps and plugins. “It’s wonderful to have so many resources at your fingertips,” Nuland says. “But it comes back to the fundamental question of ‘How do you prepare teachers?’ Do your teachers understand how to translate student needs into selecting the appropriate resources?” With all these new tools, administrators must also make sure they can connect the technology to student achievement—and that can be done with more than just test scores and assessments, Nuland adds. “Look at it from it from all angles—it might be surveying parents, it might be classroom observations, it might be teachers observing students,” she says. “And depending on students’ skills, it might be their ability to articulate how they’re using the devices, whether they like them and whether they find them helpful.”“