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In recent years, a welcome change in the world of edtech has been the developing conversation around the effective use of technology being reinforced by a strong evidence base. This is something that I have been championing for a long time, along with many others. 

Too many companies have, over the years, sold snake oil into schools and, understandably, this has left many teachers and leaders wary of bold claims by education solutions providers. Add to this, many failed initiatives (such as with interactive whiteboards that we saw in the late 90s and early noughties) and it has provided a catalyst for edtech solution providers to listen more to educators and, in many cases, co-create solutions that really do meet the needs of educators and schools.  

Enter the Education Alliance Finland pedagogical excellence in edtech initiative… Formerly known as “Kokoa Standard”, Education Alliance Finland has developed a strong pedagogical evaluation tool for educational technology solutions.  

It was, therefore, a real privilege in 2018, whilst working at the SETTFIN conference in Helsinki, to be asked to work with and represent them at one of their events at the conference:  

Pedagogical excellence and efficacy for edtech is clearly something that hugely resonates with me – and subsequently the entire team at NetSupport, where I have my part-time role as Head of Education – so it was a huge pleasure when we recently submitted for their scrutiny to then receive their report on our product.  

The subsequent report makes for great reading and you can find it here.

The process from the EAF is really quite thorough, as you’ll see in the report. They explore every product against: 

  • Subject Area – Remote learning and study skills 
  • Life & Career – Social Skills / Cross-Cultural Skills and Global Awareness / Wellbeing and Sustainable Development / Work-life skills and Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Innovation – Creativity and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving / Cognitive and Thinking Skills / Learning to Learn
  • Information & Technology – Media and Information Literacy / Multimodal Literacy / ICT Literacy
  • Learning Engagement – Autonomy / Competence / Relatedness / Respect / Stimulation / Safety 

This all then feeds into the examination of the pedagogical approaches found in the product they’re assessing. They rate their pedagogical approach thus: 

As you’ll see in the report, the various findings across all of the checks they undertook made for great reading for us, with most sections recording in the mid to high 90s.  

At the end of the process, was found, using their analysis, to have a score of 94 which, by their standards, sees the product as being ‘Excellent’ and as the report demonstrates, with many outstanding features.  

So what? 

In a world where we want the technological tools we implement in our schools to provide both a sound purchase and bring about a learning return on our investment, it is fantastic to have had a validated in this way.  

For those that know me, you’ll know that pedagogical efficacy is something I am supremely passionate about and have led many discussions on the topic for many years. Now in my role at NetSupport, it gives me such a huge sense of pride that our latest product continues to be at the forefront of helping teachers, schools and most importantly, learners, with their teaching and learning with technology journey in such a pedagogically sound manner. 

I strongly urge you to not only have a read of the report but to also give a trial to see why Education Alliance Finland found it to be so effective in supporting teaching and learning. I think you’ll be pleased with what you discover.  


Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.

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