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Education Technology

PreK   |   K-12   |   K-20 Digital Services or Products   |   K-20 Instructional   |   Higher Ed   |   CORPORATE   |   Print all category descriptions

Pre-K Education Categories

Best PreK / Early Childhood Learning Solution

Recognizes the best digital product providing or supporting learning for children ages 3-5. Includes applications designed for tablets and/or desktop computers, in areas such as pre-literacy and numeracy content, assessment and reporting, for use at home or in early childhood development settings.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Is the product intended for early childhood education (Prek ages 3-5)? If no, provide a score of 1.
  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for this age user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs in the pre-K learning areas?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of using the solution?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization, the parents and the user?

K-12 Education Categories

Best Classroom Management Solution

Recognizes the best system designed for PK-12 educators. Includes classroom based student information systems, data management and reporting tools, gradebooks, standards (including Common Core) alignment tools and packages that link data and resources to instruction. District based information systems should nominate in the PK-12 Enterprise category.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the system customizable for different user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of education users?
  • Impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on the classroom management process?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for intended users?
  • Student data - Does the system provides easy access to student and/or course data?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution

Recognizes the best digital learning environment designed for K-12 educators and administrators to manage curriculum-based content, student access and use, diagnostic and remediation programs, data management and reporting tools. Enables the teacher to register, access and build course materials, communicate with students and acquire content.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the system customizable for different types of courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of education users?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content (including apps) or standards information? How easily can you move existing content and assessments into this one?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Positive impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on course development and implementation and/or the student learning process?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for intended users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best K-12 Enterprise Solution

Recognizes the best non-instructional, business management application or service that supports K-12 education enterprises. Includes privacy tools, transportation, human resources, talent management, security, food services, digital communication/security solutions, scheduling and registration services, student information systems, network services, special ed funding tracking, IEP tracking, internet filtering, privacy compliance, etc. This solution, delivered by the Internet or a network, will also best enable data exchange, processing and reporting.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of education users?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for intended users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Education Digital Service or Product Categories

Best Authoring / Development Tool for Educators

Recognizes the best digital service designed to give either educators or administrators or educational organizations the ability to create content and/or educational web or mobile applications for use by others. Includes applications that help build and deliver technology-enhanced items, lesson plans, project-based learning activities, student resources, assessments as well as reporting, class management and admin features.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Cost-benefit - To what extent it there a cost or benefit to the user developing an application compared to purchasing one?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of enterprises, user needs and administrative outcomes?
  • Innovation – Is this tool innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to the user of various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reporting and analytics - Will the system produce useful analysis and reports for intended users?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Collaborative Social Media Solution for Educators

Recognizes the online solution designed to provide social learning, collaborative and community support for PK-12 or higher education faculty and administration. Includes tools for communication, professional learning experiences, resource centers, collaboration and planning tools and other interactive, social media solutions.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - To what extent does the solution support customization by the educator user?
  • Design - To what extent is the web design effective, easy-to-use and support educators with different learning styles?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to teaching, or access to new tools with high user interest?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Positive impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on the education community and/or the learning process?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the educator interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Data Solution

Recognizes the best software or digital service that applies data analytics to inform teaching and learning, retention and growth strategies or administrative decision-making. Includes dynamic, predictive and post hoc uses of data. 

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of data, user needs and business outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of business users?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in internal/external data, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for intended users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Digital Aggregation & Sharing Solution

Recognizes the best digital platform for educators to gather, describe and share resources of all online sources and formats (websites, videos, applications, files, images, etc.). Designed for the PK-12 or higher education markets, the tool allows users to curates content for customized collections that can be shared with students, parents and other educators.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Accessibility- Can the user search collections created by other users? Can you log into your account from any location to update and monitor?
  • Customization - How easily can the user organize collections for specific groups (students, parents, etc.) and communicate their availability, or schedule group updates.
  • Navigation - How easily can the user navigate through the solution and interact with the key features.
  • Searchability - Is the content searchable by multiple terms including grade level, standard, subject and topic?
  • Shareability - How easily can the user share collections with others through various means such as e-mail and social media?
  • Standards alignment – Is the content aligned to instructional standards selected by the user?

Best Emerging Education Technology Solution for Administrators

Recognizes a new and innovative technology solution that is emerging to solve an an administrative problem for schools or campuses. This new tool could support administrators in their education management or communication functions. All nominated products in this category must be less than three years old.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Applicability - Is this tool truly applicable to administrative offices?
  • Disruption – Does the tool have the potential to disrupt the education market in the future? Disruption should include long-term benefits or new outcomes.
  • Efficacy - Does the technology incorporate recent research on administrative functions? These areas should be highlighted and show significant impact to achieve desired goals.
  • Impact – To what degree does the technology represent progressive developments within administrative functions for competitive advantage?
  • Innovation - Is this tool or its features actually new in its approach or implementation? Is there specific new, disruptive technology or methods that are clearly unique?
  • Results - Could this tool help administrators fulfill their functions more effectively and efficiently?
  • Relevance - Include examples of the area(s) that would benefit – such as scheduling, communications, inventory and budgeting. Usability - How easily and efficiently can users interact with the product features to achieve the desired result? The user commu

Best Enterprise Application Integration Solution

Recognizes the best new tool or tool set, including APIs, that ensures seamless interoperability and integration between applications, software, services and systems across the educational enterprise. Solution should promote standardization, demonstrate best practices in certification and within heterogeneous environments, and promote data security within frameworks of collaboration and programming transparencies.

Judges will be looking for:

  • ADA Compatibility - Does the tool follow guidelines and compliance with ADA mandates and UDL?
  • API - Do the APIs (application programming interfaces) for learning tools and platforms conform to the industry specification?
  • Certification - Does the tool provide evidence of best practices in the form of certification and compliance?
  • Development - Does the specification allow the seamless connection of web-based, externally hosted applications and content or tools to platforms that present them to users?
  • Efficacy - How effective is the tool at integrating third party content and products with virtual learning environments (VLEs)?
  • Integration - Can the API facilitate integration of new features into existing applications (a so-called "plug-in API")?
  • Learning Analytics - To what extent does the tool or tool set contribute to the generation of meaningful learning analytics to customers and end-users?
  • Methodology - Has the tool established a standard way of integrating educational data and/or rich learning applications and content?
  • Reporting - Are the reports customizable and intuitive?
  • Scalability - Does the tool provide solutions to issues found common browsers, third party cookies, IE zones and provides support for iframes/frames?
  • Security - How secure is the tool so that data is protected?
  • Sustainability - To what extent does the tool or tool set reduce or eliminate costs and barriers created by the lack of integration and interoperability?
  • Transformative Quality - To what extent does the tool or tool set contribute to the ed tech industry efforts to achieve high levels of system integration and interoperability?

Best Higher Ed Educational App for a Mobile Device

Recognizes the best curriculum or administrative native app, designed for the higher education market, that is delivered via smartphones or tablets.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Benefit - To what extent is there a benefit to the user in providing this solution on a mobile device over other platforms?
  • Customization - Is the app customizable for different types of mobile devices, user needs and outcomes?
  • Distribution - Is the app easily acquire/licensed and implemented by education institutions?
  • Innovation - Does the app incorporate recent research on screen design and user interests?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the app and interact with the key features?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the app's features and the content to achieve their desired result?
  • Assessment - Can the student monitor their progress? Can the teacher monitor/track/print student progress?

Best Higher Education Cloud-Based Solution

Recognizes the best cloud-based solution that is always available to users regardless of location, is multi- platform and provides ubiquitous access to faculty, administration and students. Provides all applications and files for anywhere, anytime availability with an Internet connection, using devices at home or at school, from desktops to laptops to tablet or smartphones.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Cost-benefit - To what extent it there a cost-benefit to the user in providing the solution in the Cloud?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of enterprises, user needs and administrative outcomes?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to the user of various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reporting and analytics - Will the system produce useful analysis and reports for intended users?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Higher Education Enterprise Solution

Recognizes the best non-instructional business management application or service that supports higher education enterprises. Includes privacy tools, class/lecture capture solutions, network services, human resources/talent management, digital communication/security solutions, scheduling and registration services or student information systems.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of enterprises, user needs and administrative outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of enterprise administrators and users?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for intended users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Higher Education Learning Content Solution

Recognizes the best personalized, multi-disciplinary teaching solution for curricula and content that is specifically targeted toward students in college (graduate and undergraduate) and trade/professional school learning environments. Includes solutions that deliver blended or custom-crafted materials, digitally on a number of devices. Helps students navigate their digital/ebooks and reference content in a format that fits the way they learn with interactive media, collaboration tools and course content.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the higher ed student?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content and courses, unique user needs and desired education outcomes?
  • Feedback - Do the learners receive feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the student easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, ebooks, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the higher ed student interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Higher Education LMS or Learning Platform

Recognizes the best teaching and learning platform designed for higher education educators to manage content, student access and use, diagnostic and remediation programs, data management and reporting.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the student?
  • Customization - Is the learning platform customizable for different types of courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of education users?
  • Feedback - Do learners receive feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Positive impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on course development and implementation and/or the student learning process?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the higher ed faculty and administration?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Learning Capacity-Building Solution

Recognizes the best tool for learners in PK-12 or higher education markets that can be used to increase attention, responsibility, independence and engagement in their learning tasks. Includes digital tools that use up-to-date research in learning sciences to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the learner’s skills, interest and time on task by optimizing engagement and supporting personalized instruction.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Applicability - How applicable is the tools for use in multiple curriculum areas or courses?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of using the tool?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning process or innovative approaches to teaching?
  • Learner measurements - How effectively will the measurements serve the individual needs of the learner or teacher of parent?
  • Positive impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on the education community and/or the learning process?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the student interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best Learning Relationship Management Solution

Recognizes the best digital service that manages and facilitates student-led learning to maximize learning engagement, achievement, outcome, retention and long-term success. The technology facilitates personalized learning, individualized learning paths and transparent relationships with student's support network critical to student outcomes and long-term success.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Communication - How well does the solution facilitate student-led communication with student support network (educators, administrators, parents/guardians, mentors, advisors, etc.)
  • Effectiveness - How effectively does the solution facilitate and support student-led learning?
  • Integration - How well does the solution integrate with existing Learning Management Systems and/or common curriculum and technology standards?
  • Personalization - How effectively does the solution use student-level intelligence to develop personalized learning plans and/or customized learning paths
  • Reports - How well does the solution monitor student progress and adapt plans/learning paths in real-time based on student performance and/or behavior
  • System design - Does the solution grow and change with students over time, based on outcomes?

Best PK-12 Education Cloud-Based Solution

Recognizes the best cloud-based solution that is always available to educational users regardless of location, is multi- platform and provides ubiquitous access to faculty, administration and students. Provides all applications and files for anywhere, anytime availability with an Internet connection, using devices at home or at school, from desktops to laptops to tablet or smartphones.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Cost-benefit - To what extent it there a cost-benefit to the user in providing the solution in the Cloud?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of enterprises, user needs and administrative outcomes?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to the user of various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reporting and analytics - Will the system produce useful analysis and reports for intended users?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?

Best PK-12 Educational App for a Mobile Device 

Recognizes the best curriculum or administrative native app, designed for either PK-12 or higher education markets, that is delivered via smartphones or tablets.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Benefit - To what extent is there a benefit to the user in providing this solution on a mobile device over other platform?
  • Customization - Is the app customizable for different types of mobile devices, user needs and outcomes?
  • Distribution - Is the app easily acquire/licensed and implemented by education institutions?
  • Innovation - Does the app incorporate recent research on screen design and user interests?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the app and interact with the key features?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the app's features and the content to achieve their desired result?
  • Assessment - Can the student monitor their progress? Can the teacher monitor/track/print student progress?

Best Social-Emotional Development Solution

Recognizes the best digital product or service specifically designed to develop social emotional skills and knowledge for learners that contributes to their ability to successfully navigate daily activities and compensate for their invisible needs or disabilities. Includes applications that help learners develop social emotional skills also known as “non-cognitive skills” such as communicating and interacting with others, problem solving, self-regulation and setting and achieving goals.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user? Will the reporting feature be user-friendly?

Best Source for Reference or Education Resources

Recognizes the service that best packages reference, original source materials, library or research information or disaggregated media assets for educational purposes in the PK-12 or higher education markets. This service can include content such as encyclopedias, maps, databases and primary source material.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of user needs and outcomes?
  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in social media tools, internal data, curriculum, third-party content or standards information?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized for the user of various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reporting and analytics - Will the system produce useful analysis and reports for intended users?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their targeted results?

Best Student Assessment Solution

Recognizes the best application or solution for high-stakes assessments or for preparation for high-stakes tests in the PK-12 or higher education market and for use in either formative or summative assessments.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Innovation – Is this solution innovative in its approach?
  • Navigation - Can the user easily and efficiently navigate through the solution and interact with the key features?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized for the user of various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) Cloud-based should be added and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?  
  • Reporting and analytics - Will the system produce useful analysis and reports for intended users?
  • Scalability - Does the feature set scale to meet the needs of education users?
  • Support - Does the solution provide support for the educator/faculty? the solution customizable for different types of user needs and outcomes?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their targeted results?
  • Able to be edited - Will teachers be able to change questions or instructions to meet student needs and fit with local school cultural differences?
  • Growth model - Does the solution provide the ability to follow and measure students' growth in learning in a number of years?

Education Instructional Categories

Best Coding & Computational Thinking Solution

Recognizes the best educational solution or platform that teaches students coding and computational skills, logic, problem solving, computer science, and algorithmic thinking. Solutions may include language platforms, robotics and coding courses, not excluding hardware options or a blend of hardware and software. Solutions should allow students to think creatively, reason systematically, work collaboratively and share their creations with others.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Evidence of success – Can you share your final product with others? Do you have a working product when done? Is there a comment field to share feedback with students?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning and standards around coding, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge of problem solving and computational thinking skills in the targeted areas?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user? To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user? (If N/A skip)
  • Transferability – How easily can you build code in one product and apply it to other products?

Best College & Career Readiness Solution

Recognizes the best digital product or service that develops 21st Century workforce skills and knowledge for students. Includes applications that help close the gap between a learner's current interest and skills and the needs and expectations in the workplace.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the learning solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?
  • Innovation –Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?
  • Accessibility / inclusivity - Does the product allow for all types of students?

Best Creativity Tool for Students

Recognizes the service or platform with which students create their own animations, videos, interactive stories, art, and/or games. The best tool allows students to demonstrate understanding and critical and imaginative thinking and can be shared easily with audiences (teacher, class, beyond as appropriate).  The process of creating will help the student process and apply their own knowledge through original works. 

Judges will be looking for:

  • Effective use of technology – The product has an intuitive interface and is robust enough to support student use of multimedia elements if warranted.  
  • Publishing, archiving and sharing – Student work can be easily shared through social media and/or the web. Students and educators can curate the work to create thematic exhibits.
  • Support - Information and support for users is effective and easy to find.
  • Feedback - Student receives Channels for students to receive feedback and support in the process of creating documents, designs, projects or products from educators and peers.
  • Adaptability - The tool is appropriate for students with diverse learning styles and abilities.

Best Cross-Curricular Solution

Recognizes the best software tool for students, educators or administrators that can be used in multiple curriculum areas in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes productivity and creativity solutions that support learning across different courses or subject areas, such as document creation, graphic design, problem solving or web development.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?

Best Emerging Instructional Technology Solution

Recognizes a new and innovative technology solution that is emerging to solve an instructional problem. It can change how students learn, increase their interest in learning or could open new delivery channels for instruction. All nominated products in this category must be less than three years old.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Applicability - Is this tool truly applicable to classrooms or learning centers?
  • Disruption – Does the tool have the potential to disrupt the education market in the future? Disruption should include long-term benefits or new outcomes.
  • Efficacy - Does the technology incorporate recent research on the learning process? These areas should be highlighted and show significant impact.
  • Impact – To what degree does the technology represent progressive developments within instructional functions for competitive advantage?
  • Innovation - Is this tool or its features actually new in its approach or implementation? Is there specific new, disruptive technology or methods that are clearly unique?
  • Learning Results - Could this tool help students gain a better understanding of learning concepts or increase cognitive skills and outcomes?
  • Relevance - How much is this technology needed in the education market? Include examples of the area(s) that could benefit – such as retention, comprehension, higher engagement and successful outcomes such as advancement, participation and experience.
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can users interact with the product features to achieve the desired result? The user community should be clearly identified.

Best ESL, ELL or World Language Acquisition Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Learners (ELL), and World Languages for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes course-based language learning curricula and content or online supplemental instruction.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes? Does it offer customized learning pathways for personalizing instruction.
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user? Does it offer standards alignment for reporting student mastery of specific learning standards

Best Game-Based Curriculum Solution

Recognizes the best curriculum solution that uses gaming elements as an integral component of a curriculum or assessment product. Designed for PK-12 or higher education students to enable them to learn or apply concepts by using a compelling game environment that is academically and pedagogically sound.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes? Is the content adaptive, increase or decrease in difficulty, in reaction to the student's ability?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Game design - Will the game design enhance or deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • User experience (student) - is the game easy to play (jump right in) or does it require training for the student?
  • User experience (instructor) - is the game easy to implement or does it require training for the educator (can the instructor transition from a classroom type setting to a gaming type setting)? 
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?
  • Accessibility / inclusivity - Does the product allow for all types of students? (A product can’t be used within a school setting if it doesn’t follow certain legal standards. Students with hearing disabilities, English as a second language, etc.
  • Focus / balance - Does the product appropriately balance gaming with learning? I don't think these are mutually exclusive.

Best Instructional Solution in Other Curriculum Areas

Recognizes the best application focusing on non-core curriculum areas for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. These areas include art, music, health, technology, engineering, vocational/career planning, or multi-disciplinary topics. Instructional solutions for computer science should nominate in the Best Coding & Computational Thinking Solution category.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users (including special needs and diverse students?)?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge, interest, and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in learning standards, curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?

Best Mathematics Instructional Solution

Recognizes the best instructional product that offers mathematics curriculum and content for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. It includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for all student learners so they can learn and apply mathematics concepts and methods. The solution provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Pre-Assessment – Does the solution allow for instructors to see where skills are at and help guide instruction with curriculum so that it challenges the users appropriately without frustrating them?
  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different areas (adding, subtracting, geometry, algebra, etc.) within the content, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive immediate and/or appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information to provide the students with real life situations that are relatable to them?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?
  • Usability – Does the solution allow for ease of use on various parts such as testing, lessons, and reports for those that may not have much technical experience/knowledge?

Best Professional Learning Solution for Faculty & Administrative Staff

Recognizes the best educational application or service designed to support PK-12 or higher education institutions and the educational needs/ professional development of faculty and administrative staff. Includes stand-alone or programs packaged with other products, and delivered through video or other means.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs, district needs and education outcomes? Does solution offers customized learning pathways for personalizing instruction?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user? Does it offer standards alignment for reporting student mastery of specific learning standards?

Best Reading/Writing/Literature Instructional Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for reading, writing or literature curricula and content for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes solutions for learners at all levels, through managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Pre-Assessment – Does the solution allow for instructors to see where skills are at and help guide instruction with curricula so that it challenges the users appropriately without frustrating them?
  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate and/or immediate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas? Does it provide the students with real life situations that are relatable to them (i.e cultures, lifestyles, etc.)
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?​
  • Usability – Does the solution allow for ease of use on various parts such as testing, lessons, and reports for those that may not have much technical experience/knowledge?

Best Science Instructional Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for science and health curricula and content for students in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes managed classroom/course-based instruction or online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment and reflects current curriculum practice.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the solution incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?

Best Social Sciences or Social Studies Instructional Solution

Recognizes the best instructional solution for social sciences / social studies curricula and content for students in the PK- 12 or higher education markets. Includes history, geography, government/political science, economics, etc. via managed classroom/course-based instruction, online supplemental instruction for individuals. Provides for deep and personalized learning experiences for students, supports standards alignment, and reflects current curriculum practice.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?
  • Accessibility – Does the solution meet the general accessibility requirements for students with disabilities, and/or provide information about how accommodations can be accessed.” Accessibility has become a very important issue for the institution that I

Best Solution for Special Needs Students

Recognizes the best application specifically designed to benefit students with unique educational needs, including those with physical or learning disabilities, those on the autism spectrum, or those who are gifted and talented in the PK-12 or higher education market. Includes solutions that are 508 compliant and provide instructional materials that are accessible or developed under the principals of universal design for learning (UDL).

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?

Best Virtual Learning Solution

Recognizes the educational solution that best delivers course support, full courses or degree programs online, in either subscription-based or massive, open environments. Includes tutoring, self-paced digital instruction, home-schooling, advance placement course work, credit recovery, instructional support, personalized learning environments or college credit and targets the PK-12 or higher education market.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Instructional design - Is the instruction and content designed to deepen student knowledge and skills in the targeted areas?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?

Corporate Education Categories

Best Corporate / Workforce Learning Management Solution

Recognizes the best platform, service or provider that supports the efforts of organizations (business, government, academia) to educate employees about specific knowledge that aids in the successful execution of an employee's job. Includes applications that educate on internal processes, practices, expectations and objectives of workplace assignments.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Assessment - To what extent are the assessment tools useful and functional for the user?
  • Customization - Is the learning solution customizable for different types of content areas, courses, user needs and education outcomes?
  • Feature set - Does the feature set incorporated within this product appropriately meet the needs of the users?
  • Feedback - Do learners with diverse learning styles and abilities receive appropriate feedback and reinforcement in the process of building their skills and strategies?
  • Innovation - Does the system incorporate recent research on learning, innovative approaches to learning, or access to new tools with high student interest?
  • Integration - Does it provide straightforward methods for bringing in curriculum, third-party content, social media tools, internal data or standards information?
  • Platform flexibility - Is the solution optimized to be used on various platforms (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile, broadcast) and deliver various types of content (text, images, audio, video)?
  • Positive impact - Could the system produce a positive impact on course development and implementation and/or the learning process?
  • Reports - Will the system produce useful reports for the organization and the user?
  • Usability - How easily and efficiently can the user interact with the product features and the content to achieve their desired result?