STEAM Hub is an Education Alliance Finland [EAF] Certified Product (2022)
STEM Minds is pleased to announce that STEAM Hub, our online learning platform, has been certified by Education Alliance Finland (EAF) as an EAF Certified Product.
EAF uses a method based on educational psychology and Finnish pedagogical knowledge to evaluate the quality of learning solutions. An EAF Certified Product is a well-designed educational solution that aligns with learning science principles. Its design complies with research on learning and pedagogy and implements good practices to promote and support learning.
The learning impact evaluation is done using a science-based method that has been developed with university researchers in Finland, a global education leader. The evaluation focuses on the strengths and development areas of the product through the assessment of the three focus areas of learning goals, pedagogical approach, and usability.
As part of the certification process, EAF’s team of expert reviewers was given full access to a wide range of STEAM Hub courses in order to assess STEAM Hub’s alignment with overall pedagogical best practices as well as alignment with the Ontario Curriculum, CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, UK National Curriculum, and overall life and career skills.
We are thrilled to have been awarded a 92% on our pedagogical approach and a 4.27/5 on our learning engagement. We look forward to joining the catalogue of EAF Certified Products and using their feedback to continuously improve STEAM Hub to meet the needs of all students.
STEAM Hub is a Digital Promise Certified Product (2022)
STEM Minds is pleased to announce that STEAM Hub, our online learning platform, has been Awarded “Research-Based Design for Instructional Learning Products” – Product Certification from Digital Promise. This Product Certification Provides Transparency to Edtech Marketplace. This Product Certification serves as a rigorous, reliable signal for district and school leaders, educators, and families looking for edtech products with a confirmed basis in research about learning.
STEM Minds submitted evidence to Digital Promise confirming a link between research on how students learn and the product’s design. STEM Minds also
demonstrated their commitment to making their research basis clear and accessible to the public.
“Educators and researchers continue to uncover important insights about how people learn,” said Christina Luke Luna, Chief Learning Officer, Pathways and Credentials at Digital Promise. “Digital Promise’s Research-Based Design Product Certification recognizes the edtech products that incorporate research about learning into their design and development. Congratulations to STEM MInds for demonstrating that research informs product design!”
Through Product Certifications, consumers can narrow their options as they select products based on research about learning before trying it out in their classrooms. Digital Promise launched the Research-Based Design Product Certification in February 2020 and has certified over 60 products to date. The Research-Based Design Product Certification uses a competency-based learning framework, developed in consultation with Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project advisory board, expert researchers in the Learning Sciences field, and nearly 50 educators across the United States. Further detail about its development can be found in Digital Promise’s reports, Designing Edtech that Matters for Learning: Research-Based Design Product Certifications (2020) and An Overlooked Indicator of Edtech Quality: The Use of Learning Sciences Research (2022).
All developers, educators, edtech investors, and families are also encouraged to sign the Research-Based Product Promise and demand high-quality, research-driven products that support each unique learner. More information on Digital Promise’s Product Certifications can be found at productcertifications.digitalpromise.org.
STEAM Hub is a Digital Promise “Learner Variability ” Certified Product (2021)
STEM Minds is pleased to announce that STEAM Hub, our online learning platform, has been Awarded “Learner Variability” – Product Certification from Digital Promise. This Product Certification Provides Transparency to Edtech Marketplace.
Digital Promise has verified that STEAM Hub has met the certification criteria and earned the Learner Variability Product Certification. These products submitted applications that underwent a rigorous assessment process to certify that they are designed with learner variability in mind.
To earn the Learner Variability Product Certification, edtech product teams must submit artifacts, or evidence, to demonstrate that:
- The product offers at least six (6) distinct features, tools, and/or learning experiences that support learners’ social and emotional needs, cognitive abilities, and personal backgrounds and explains in detail how different learners are expected to benefit from each feature/tool/learning experience.
- The product identifies, and explains the use of, at least two (2) features that can be adjusted by the users themselves to meet learners’ varying needs.
- There is clear, easily accessible, publicly facing information on how the product has been designed to support variation among learners. It also clearly identifies which aspects of learner variability are supported by using the product.
- The product developers incorporated input from educators and diverse learners to inform the design features.
Learner Variability calls for products to design not only for subject area skills, but also for learners’ cognitive abilities, social and emotional learning, and personal backgrounds—all of which research says contribute to a student’s ability to learn (Tare & Shell, 2019). This can involve interaction among multiple categories, described below, for each individual learner:
- Subject area skills: Skills that relate to the subject area(s) covered by the product.
- Cognitive abilities: Abilities including, but not limited to, executive function, attention, auditory processing, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, long-term memory, short-term memory, metacognition, reasoning, sensory integration, spatial skills, speed of processing, visual processing, and working memory. This may also include other cognitive factors that research demonstrates predict outcomes in the product’s relevant subject area.
- Social and emotional learning: Skills that take into consideration emotion, motivation, mindset, self-regulation, social awareness, relationship skills, and stereotype threat. This may also include other social and emotional learning factors that research demonstrates predict outcomes in the product’s relevant subject area.
- Personal background: Consideration of learners’ adverse experiences, learning environment, physical well-being, primary language, safety, sleep, social supports, socioeconomic status, hearing, and vision. This may also include other personal background factors that research relates to outcomes in the product’s relevant subject area.
Digital Promise offers an open source tool for products to engage in deeper exploration—the Learner Variability Navigator, found in the Resources section below. However, applicants are neither bound to this resource nor the language it uses. If there are features, tools, and/or learning experiences offered throughout the product that support the whole learner and are not articulated above, applicants are welcome to include descriptions of these, along with the source that inspired the development or inclusion of such elements, in Part 2 of the application.
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