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SpotOn – The Classroom content selector

EHE Office of Research
December 27, 2015

This fall, the College of Education and Human Ecology launched a new strategic initiative, SpotOn™ The Classroom Content Selector, which builds on the college’s tradition of leadership in K-12 teaching and learning. SpotOn’s mission is to provide decision support to K-12 educators as they evaluate and select digital curriculum materials for instruction.

SpotOn is supported by a joint investment from EHE and the Ohio State Office of Academic Affairs, and a five-year Straight A grant from the state of Ohio. Today, SpotOn features reviews, ratings and product information for nearly 300 courses in English language arts, science, social studies, and mathematics. By providing this information to K-12 decision-makers, SpotOn allows educators to more easily select the most appropriate digital content for successful implementation in their classrooms. Correct selection is imperative for improving the learning process and maximizing student achievement.

Led by Dorinda Gallant (Educational Studies) and Nicole Luthy (Ohio Resource Center), EHE conducted research critical to the academic validation of the rubric used to evaluate digital content. This rubric evaluates against four dimensions: Quality, Pedagogy, Standards and Use of Technology, which were identified by educators as the most important criteria for selecting and implementing digital content in the classroom.

SpotOn reviewers are licensed teachers who have undergone specialized training; 70 percent have a master’s degree or are pursuing one. SpotOn aims to change how K-12 educators select content by providing them with a one-stop site where they can view a wide range of materials and quickly select the most suitable for their classroom based on quality, price, device compatibility, discipline, grade level and other factors.

The next stage of SpotOn development is already underway to continue to grow engagement by increasing the number of registered users and classroom feedback. Kui Xie (Educational Studies) is spearheading the modeling development of a recommendation engine, with a goal to closely align classroom student profiles with specific digital content.

SpotOn has already impacted 160 educators, 20,000 students and five Ohio school districts through the Straight A grant’s review process, content adoption and evaluation training. By fall 2016, the portal is on target to publish over 1,000 reviews of digital content in a wide variety of disciplines ranging from full-year curriculum to games and apps. More news will be forthcoming about SpotOn during the 2016 launch year as increasing numbers of districts across the U.S. engage with SpotOn for support in their decisions about digital content purchases.

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