A tablet showing planning software

When planning a pilot, districts must clearly articulate what they are trying to accomplish and how they will collect evidence to make an informed decision.

Pilots produce the most useful results when everyone involved can answer the question, “What does success look like?”

Process Matters

Tips for Success!

A list of tips
  • Clearly articulate goals, measures, and timelines
  • Identify data that will be used to determine success
  • Ensure pilot rigor matches the risk associated with product adoption (cost, teacher training, implementation time, etc.)

Tools & Resources

For definitions of our taxonomies, see our About section.


Data-Goal Alignment Document

This worksheet will help you think about what data you need to collect in your pilot study.


Pilot Planning Checklist

A checklist to help you plan for a successful edtech pilot.


West Ada Workflow Chart From West Ada

A flowchart from West Ada School District for piloting and determining whether to purchase an edtech product.


Digital Promise Sample Pilot Timeline

A sample timeline for running a pilot study in your school.


Ed Tech RCE Coach From Mathematica Policy Research, Inc

The Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach is a tool that guides you, step by step, through an evaluation of educational technology in your school or district.


Ed Tech RCE Coach: Craft Your Research Question From Mathematica Policy Research, Inc

This document guides you through a formulaic process to craft a good research question, an essential first step in conducting a pilot.


Ed Tech RCE Coach: Determine Your Approach From Mathematica Policy Research, Inc

This decision tree will help you determine the best research design for your school or district’s goals.


Ed Tech RCE Coach: Think About How You’ll Use Results From Mathematica Policy Research, Inc

This worksheet will help you think about the steps to take after receiving pilot results.


Pilot Process Map from Vista Unified From Vista

An example pilot process map from Vista Unified School District.


Research Guidelines for the ESSA Era From Software & Information Industry Association

The Education Technology Industry Network, a division of the Software & Information Industry Association commissioned Empirical Education Inc. to provide guidelines for research given the accelerated development of cloud-based technology and the important policy changes brought about by the ESSA.


Running Better Edtech Pilots in Schools

A report on how six innovative U.S. school districts try out, evaluate, and ultimately purchase the technology that ends up in the classroom.


Sample Timeline Tool

Timeline recommendations for planning edtech pilot


SDP Strategic Use of Data Rubric From Harvard CEPR

This rubric was developed to provide direction and support to educational organizations in their efforts to transform data use.