In a world where education and technology are increasingly intertwined, it is vital to ensure your district’s data readiness and interoperability continue going forward. One of the most effective strategies for this is standardizing your edtech procurement process. But how can you determine what to look for in software that parses and stores school data? Do you have a standard purchasing protocol for edtech? Do your edtech vendors understand your district’s goals?
One way to solidify your efforts towards unifying school data is to make sure your vendors understand your data interoperability goals and your edtech purchases meet similar standards. To achieve this, we propose two best practices: creating an edtech procurement rubric and holding a vendor summit.
Creating an Procurement Rubric
A procurement rubric acts as a standardized framework for evaluating various edtech platforms. It ensures a fair and consistent comparison, assessing all platforms based on the same criteria. This rubric can be customized to align with your institution’s specific educational goals, priorities, pedagogical approach, curriculum requirements, and cybersecurity standards.
By employing a procurement rubric, you can clearly define evaluation criteria that align with your institution’s needs and goals. It helps pinpoint the essential features, functionalities, and requirements you’re seeking in an edtech tool.
Use a procurement rubric to measure edtech platforms against the following criteria:
- Alignment to District Curriculum & Initiatives
- Ownership of Data
- Compatibility with Learning Management System (LMS)
- Single Sign-On
- Professional Services
- Compatibility with District Devices
- Student Data Privacy
- Import/Export of Data
- Data Backup
- Import Frequency
- Longevity of Vendor
- Vendor References
- End User (Ease of Use for Stakeholders)
- Interoperability with District Platforms
- Quality of Data
- Contract Terms
- Compatibility with Student Information System (SIS)
- Industry Standard Certifications/Proof of Efficacy
- Redundancy Plan
- Pilot Terms
Holding a Vendor Summit
A vendor summit is another highly effective approach. Invite all your current and potential edtech vendors and share an overview of your data readiness and interoperability goals, along with any district strategic goals and current challenges. Inform your vendor partners of your data interoperability goals: They might have specific features that need to be prioritized to achieve your district data goals and could also provide access to internal resources.
A Ready-to-Use Procurement Rubric
A well-crafted procurement rubric considers factors like scalability, data interoperability, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and the potential for future growth.
To assist you in implementing this procurement process, we’ve created a comprehensive procurement rubric you can tailor to your district’s unique needs. This ready-to-use template covers all the criteria we’ve discussed and provides a structured format for vendor evaluation.
You’re free to customize this rubric according to your district’s specific needs, adding or subtracting criteria as necessary. With this resource, you can facilitate and streamline your edtech procurement process, allowing you to make informed, goal-aligned decisions when purchasing new technology.
Remember, an effective procurement rubric and well-informed vendor pool are your best allies in acquiring edtech platforms that truly serve your district’s needs. Happy evaluating!
Subject Matter Expert, CTO Person Rev/Strat
Erica Hartman is a former director of technology in public education and serves as a Subject Matter Expert on GoGuardian’s strategy team. Erica has 20 years of teaching and administrative experience helping school districts choose digital platforms that best suit their strategic goals. She specializes in large-scale deployments, digital architecture of online platforms, data interoperability, blended learning, digital citizenship, and student safety.