Press Release

Eight Edtech Products Awarded Research-Based Design and Learner Variability Product Certifications
Product Certifications Provide Transparency to Educators when Selecting Edtech Tools

February 25, 2021 | Washington, D.C.Digital Promise awarded eight product certifications to educational technology (edtech) tools that met the criteria for Research-Based Design and Learner Variability product certifications. These product certifications serve as rigorous, reliable signals for school administrators, educators, and families looking to select edtech that was designed to intentionally meet learners’ authentic needs.

The following seven product teams, each of which submitted evidence confirming a link between research on how students learn and their product’s design, have recently earned the Research-Based Design product certification:

  • Accelerated Reader
  • Achieve3000 Literacy
  • Achieve3000 Smarty Ants
  • Altitude Learning
  • Edgenuity Pathblazer
  • Reading Plus
  • StrongMind

The following product team, which submitted evidence confirming a link between research on learners’ social and emotional needs, cognitive abilities, and personal backgrounds and their product’s design, has received the Learner Variability product certification:

  • Shmoop Heartbeat

“Those supporting learning with technology are looking for high-quality products,” said Christina Luke Luna, senior director of lifelong learning pathways at Digital Promise. “Digital Promise’s Product Certifications offer verification that edtech products meet specific criteria. We applaud the products that have pursued and earned these certifications.”

After nearly a decade of edtech marketplace research, Digital Promise recognized that while consumers want to know whether a product will improve learning, there is a strong distrust of product-authored studies. Through Product Certifications, consumers can narrow their options as they select products by identifying edtech that is truly based in research about learning before trying it out in their classrooms.

“With thousands of edtech products on the market, we spend a great deal of time investigating and piloting products to ensure that we are spending our money wisely,” said Vicky Ozment, deputy superintendent of Talladega County Schools (Alabama). “Having products certified through the Research-Based Design and Learner Variability product certification process saves us an enormous amount of time and gives us confidence in the decision-making process.”

The Research-Based Design and Learner Variability certifications use a competency-based learning framework, developed in consultation with nearly 100 educators across the United States as well as Digital Promise’s Learner Variability, Marketplace, and Learning Sciences Research teams. Further detail about certification development can be found in our reports.

Applications remain open on the Digital Promise website for product developers interested in earning the certifications.

All developers, educators, edtech investors, and families are encouraged to sign the Research-Based Product Promise and demand high-quality, research-driven products that support each unique learner. For more information on Product Certifications, please visit

Press Contact:
Crystal Williams
Digital Promise


About Digital Promise

Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world. For more information, visit the Digital Promise website and follow @digitalpromise for updates.

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