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Contact:

Dr. Edward Metz
(202) 245-7550
Edward.Metz@ed.gov

Description:

Program Type: Contracts

View the SBIR homepage.

The 2016 priority areas for ED/IES SBIR consist of the following:

  • R/R&D of education technology products for use by students or teachers (or other instructional personnel) in authentic education settings,
  • R/R&D of education technology products for use by infants, toddlers, or students with or at risk for disabilities, or teachers (or other personnel, related services providers, or family members) in authentic early intervention or special education settings (including general education classes with students with disabilities), or
  • R/R&D of education technology products for use by school administrators (principals, heads of curriculum, technology coordinators, special education coordinators) or non-instructional personnel (such as guidance counselors) in authentic education settings or authentic early intervention or special education settings (including general education classes with students with disabilities).

PRIORITY AREA 1:

Education Technology Products Used by Students or Teachers (or other Instructional Personnel) in Authentic Education Settings

Products for student use must be designed to improve student learning or promote relevant outcomes in one of more of the following topic areas:

  • pre-reading, reading, pre-writing, writing
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
  • computer science, coding, web design, digital competency credentials aligned with industry standards and professional certifications
  • technical or vocational skills to increase career readiness
  • social studies, history, geography, civics, or economics
  • foreign languages, English language learning
  • social skills, attitudes, and behaviors (e.g., motivation, perseverance, decision making skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills) that support academic and other relevant school-related outcomes (e.g., attendance, high school graduation rates, career readiness, college preparation), or
  • study skills.

Products for teacher use (or other instructional personnel) must be intended either

  1. to facilitate instruction (e.g., activities for students in the classroom) in the topic areas described above,
    or

  2. to improve the efficiency or accuracy with which teachers carry out their administrative responsibilities (e.g., managing the classroom, grading homework, organizing coursework, streamlining communication with students or parents).

Examples of projects could include:

  • Interactive multi-player biology games to improve science outcomes for students.
  • An intelligent tutor designed to teach mathematics concepts and skills, that provides students and teachers with real-time feedback on their performance and progress toward mastery.
  • A smart phone app that enables teachers to input observational data or track student progress in real-time.
  • A data dashboard to support teachers in understanding and using data from an already existing math game to inform personalized instruction to students.
  • An interactive website that makes it easier for teachers to find, organize, and use open educational resources.

Specifications

Types of Products

  • Products may be in the following forms, but are not limited to:  web or mobile-based products or games that promote personalized or individualized learning (e.g., intelligent tutors, formative assessment tools, adaptive engines that scaffold learning); multi-media products (e.g., videos, simulations); products that incorporate emerging forms of technology such as virtual reality (VR) or wearables (e.g., smart glasses, activity trackers); web or mobile-based professional development, efficiency, and instructional tools; or products to support and improve the efficient and effective implementation of already existing technology products within standard instructional practice.
  • Products may be, but are not limited to, products that: replace existing curricula or instruction, supplement existing curricula or instruction, or assess student performance to inform their learning trajectories.
  • The Institute encourages some products, such as games, to include adaptive software components or analytics capabilities that provide differentiated or personalized learning opportunities or targeted instruction through formative assessment feedback.

Age and grade level

  • Products for students or teachers that address the topic areas above can be for any level from prekindergarten through Grade 16.
  • Products for students or teachers in adult education programs must address basic or secondary reading, writing, or mathematics skills, or other skills needed for an occupational certificate or degree.
  • Products for adult students in adult education programs may also be intended for use by adults outside of formal adult education program—that is, for personal use not in conjunction with a formal education program. Such proposals must follow the research guidelines for development and pilot testing within this solicitation.
  • Products may address the needs of students who are English Learners pre-kindergarten through grade 16, or English Learners in adult education programs for basic or secondary reading, writing, or mathematics skills.

Intended Use
Products must be for use in school or through formal programs in conjunction with school work (e.g., homework, after-school programs, distance learning programs, on-line programs).

Products submitted under Priority Area 1 through this solicitation may address the needs of students and teachers in general education. Proposals addressing the needs of infants, toddlers, or students in the areas of special education should not be submitted under Priority Area 1, but may be appropriate for submission under Priority Area 2.

PRIORITY AREA 2:
Education Technology Products Used by Infants, Toddlers, or Students With or At Risk for Disabilities, or Teachers (or other Instructional Personnel, Related Services Providers, or Family Members) in Early Intervention or Special Education Settings.

Products for use by or with infants, toddlers, or students with or at risk for disabilities in early intervention or special education programs (including general education classes with students with disabilities) must be designed to improve outcomes in one of more of the following areas:

  • cognitive, functional and adaptive skills, physical skills, school readiness, communication and language
  • reading, writing
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math)
  • computer science, coding, web design, other digital competency skills aligned with industry standards and professional certifications
  • technical or vocational skills to increase career readiness
  • social studies, history, geography, civics, economics
  • foreign language, English language learning
  • social skills, attitudes, and behaviors (e.g., motivation, perseverance, decision making skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills) that support academic and other relevant school-related outcomes (e.g., attendance, high school graduation rates),
  • transition outcomes for secondary students with disabilities,
  • general study skills.

Products for use by teachers or other service delivery providers (e.g., early interventionists, guidance counselors, speech/language pathologists, school psychologists, or parents) in early intervention or special education programs must be intended either:

  1. to facilitate instruction (e.g., activities for students in the classroom) in the topic areas described above.

    or
  2. to improve the efficiency or accuracy with which teachers or other service providers carry out their administrative responsibilities (e.g., recording and transmitting information to a central database, monitoring progress on Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals).

Examples of products could include:

  • A computer-based instructional program for biology that is paired with a haptic hardware device to improve science outcomes for students with visual impairments.
  • An intelligent tutor designed to teach basic mathematics concepts for students with learning disabilities and provide parents and teachers with real time progress reports.
  • An interactive technology that is intended to help young children with autism learn to read facial expressions.
  • A personal computing device or handheld device to help early intervention service providers record improvements in developmental skills of toddlers with developmental disabilities and present data in a way that can be easily understood by parents.
  • An interactive tool that maps early physical, cognitive and social-emotional developmental progressions and integrates inputs from various sources (e.g. mobile apps, gaming platforms) to enable parents and students to track student progress.

Specifications

Types of Products

  • Products may create or adapt existing technologies specifically to enhance outcomes for or enable access by infants, toddlers, or students with disabilities.
  • Products may be, but are not limited to, products that: provide instruction or intervention, replace existing curricula, supplement existing curricula, or assess student learning to inform instruction.
  • Products may be in the following forms, but are not limited to:  web or mobile-based products or games that promote personalized or individualized learning (e.g., intelligent tutors, formative assessment tools, adaptive engines that scaffold learning); multi-media products (e.g., videos, simulations); products that incorporate emerging forms of technology such as virtual reality (VR) or wearables (e.g., smart glasses, activity trackers); web or mobile-based professional development, efficiency, and instructional tools; or products to support and improve the efficient and effective implementation of already existing technology products within standard instructional practice.

Definitions

  • Priority Area 2 is restricted to R/R&D for products designed to support improved outcomes for infants, toddlers, or students with disabilities or at risk for disabilities. For the purpose of The Department’s R/R&D programs, a student with a disability is defined in Public Law 108-446, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), as a child — "(i) with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this title as 'emotional disturbance'), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and (ii) who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services" (Part A, Sec. 602).
  • An infant or toddler with a disability is defined in IDEA as, — "an individual under 3 years of age who needs early intervention services because the individual (i) is experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in 1 or more of the areas of cognitive development, physical development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development; or (ii) has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay" (Part C, Sec. 632).

Product Usage

  • Products must be for use in schools, alternative school settings, early intervention or early childhood special education settings, or supplemental education services as defined in Section 1116(e) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  • Products to be used with infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services may be implemented in other natural settings (e.g., home-based, child care settings, family-focused interventions). Products for prekindergarten through Grade 12 students must be implemented as school-based alone or as school-based with a home or community component.

Age and grade level

  • Products for use by or with individuals with disabilities or at risk for disabilities must be for individuals from infancy through Grade 12.
  • Products for use by teachers, intervention delivery providers in early intervention or special education programs, or parents or family members, must be for serving individuals with or at risk for disabilities from infancy through Grade 12.

Measures and Outcomes

  • All applicants must include measures of child or student outcomes. By child or student outcomes, the Department means those measures of development, learning, and achievement that are important to parents, teachers, and school administrators (e.g., school readiness for young children, grades, achievement test scores, graduation).
  • Transition outcomes for middle or high school students include the behavioral, social, communicative, functional, occupational, and academic skills that enable young adults with disabilities to obtain and hold meaningful employment, live independently, and obtain further training and education (e.g., postsecondary education, vocational education programs).

Other specifications

  • Products may address the needs of students with disabilities who are also English language learners.
  • The Department encourages research on high-incidence (e.g., specific learning disability) and low-incidence disabilities (e.g., visual impairments).
  • Offerors proposing to study children at risk for disabilities should present research-based evidence of an association between risk factors in their proposed sample and the potential identification of disabilities. The determination of at-risk status must be made on an individual child basis and may include, for example, factors used for moving children to higher tiers in a Response to Intervention model. The method to be used for determining at-risk status should be made explicit in proposals and should be completed as part of the sample selection process. Evidence consisting only of general population characteristics (e.g., labeling children as “at risk for disabilities” because they are from low income families or are English learners) is not sufficient for this purpose. In addition, identify the disability or disability categories that the sampled children are at risk of developing.

PRIORITY AREA 3:

Education Technology Products Used by School Administrators (e.g., principal, technology coordinator, head of curriculum, special education coordinator) in Authentic Education Settings or Authentic Early Intervention or Special Education Settings (including general education classes with students with disabilities).

Products for use by school administrators must be designed to either:

  1. improve the efficiency or accuracy with which school administrators carry out their administrative responsibilities (e.g., conducting teacher observations, analyzing student data, making staffing decisions, monitoring school safety, communicating with parents)

    or
  2. support administrator selection, implementation, and evaluation of interventions, programs, or policies in one of the following areas:
  • improving student learning or promoting relevant education outcomes (as detailed under Priority 1).
  • improving or supporting teacher (or other instructional personnel) instruction or efficiency in authentic education settings (as detailed under Priority 1).
  • improving learning or promoting relevant outcomes for children or students with or at risk for disabilities (as detailed under Priority 2).
  • improving or supporting teachers or other service delivery providers (e.g., early interventionists, guidance counselors, speech/language pathologists, school psychologists, or parents) in early intervention or special education programs (as detailed under Priority 2).

Examples of projects could include:

  • A website for school administrators to find, organize, and use open educational resources to supplement curricular materials across all courses.
  • A data dashboard to support administrators in understanding and use of data to inform personalized instruction to students.
  • An app that provides surveys to students and teachers and supports administrators in analyzing and interpreting the results.
  • A data dashboard to support administrator tracking of student absences or whether students are on-track to graduation.
  • A website for school administrators to find training and professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • A social networking platform to train and provide ongoing support to school administrators on implementing new forms of learning technologies.
  • An online tool for school administrators to provide feedback to teachers.

Specifications

School level

  • Products for school leaders that address the topic areas above can be for any level from prekindergarten through Grade 12.

Early Intervention Settings

  • Products for administrators of Early Intervention Services that address the topic areas above for infants, toddlers, and young children (birth to age 5).

Intended Use

  • Products must be useful to school-level or early intervention administrators. Products for use in any setting other than a school (e.g., at the district or state level) are beyond the scope of this solicitation and will not be considered.

Products submitted under Priority Area 3 through this solicitation may address the needs of administrators who serve students in general education, early intervention, or special education

In its 2016 solicitation, the ED/IES SBIR program highlights the R&D of education technology products that utilize openly licensed educational resources.

Openly licensed educational resources are “teaching, learning, and research materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. These resources can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed for teaching, learning, and assessment without violating copyright laws” (U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, 2015). As part of its #GoOpen campaign, the Department of Education is encouraging states, school districts, and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to support teaching and learning.

ED/IES SBIR encourages offerors to consider R&D of technology products that leverage openly licensed educational resources, including open education data, to develop products that increase opportunities for all students to have access to high-quality learning resources, and/or that provide administrators and teachers access to resources that can be constantly updated and adjusted to meet students’ needs.

Examples of technology products that leverage openly licensed educational resources or open education data:

The Illinois Shared Learning Environment (ISLE OER) is a platform for educators to find, share, curate and create standards-aligned educational and career content. ISLE OER is built on top of the Learning Registry, an open source infrastructure that aggregates metadata about learning resources available online.

YouTube hosts over four million openly licensed videos, many of them educational, that can be remixed and reused, making it easier for educators and students to build on the work of others.

Examples of open datasets include:

ERIC bibliographic resources and full text.

Findings from What Works Clearinghouse study reviews.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, such as the Common Core of Data, EDFacts Data Files, or IPEDs.

Supporting initiatives include Project Open Data and the U.S. Open Government Initiative.

Examples of possible SBIR projects that could utilize openly licensed materials include:

A web-based platform or app that enables teachers or administrators to find, organize, use, and adapt openly licensed materials, such as content and resources available on the Learning Registry or through websites like YouTube.

A website that leverages teacher-generated data from the use of openly licensed educational resources across hundreds of schools to support the implementation of personalized interventions.

A platform that utilizes open data to match individual learners to the specific instructional materials that align to their own learning needs.

For more detailed information on openly licensed educational resources, please visit: http://tech.ed.gov/open-education/