What are tech and curriculum companies doing for K-12 education? (with Meg Hearn)

In K-12 education, there’s been a recent push to go digital, and many educators are wondering if people creating the products have the kids’ best interest in mind; especially in the for-profit space.

That’s why I invited Meg Hearn to episode 131 of the De Facto Leaders podcast to get a behind-the-scenes perspective of curriculum and tech products for kids. 

Meg is an educator with over 20 years of experience. She currently leads a highly collaborative and growing team of curriculum specialists that enhance the Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics core curriculums. 

In her previous role as Director of Mathematics Curriculum at Age of Learning, she worked with teams that created digital curriculum content for educational games, serving learners ages 2-10. Before that, she oversaw the development of a K–5 digital curriculum at LearnZillion. Her work in public schools preceded her foray into the Edtech world. As a mathematics coach in the Howard County Public School System in Maryland, she facilitated school-based professional development with elementary school teachers focusing on developing conceptual understanding through problem-based teaching. 

She’s been published in School Library Journal and by ISTE and has spent a decade as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, where she teaches gaming in education and mathematics methods courses at the graduate level. She holds a Mathematics Instructional Leadership Graduate Certificate from Notre Dame of Maryland University, a post-master's certificate in administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree in education from McDaniel College, and a bachelor's degree from University of Maryland. 

Her bachelor's degree was in design, not education. She is still applying what she learned from her design training to this day, which we talk about in the interview.

In this conversation, we discuss:

✅How EdTech product teams work; and how they test their products to make sure they’re helping kids learn.

✅The balancing acts K-12 EdTech companies face; including content, design, application features, usability, and other factors that impact accessibility and equity. 

✅Designing a learning experience: Prioritizing accountability, alignment, and evidence-based practices while still making learning a creative, engaging experience. 

✅Why math can be a prime opportunity to work on executive functioning, why it’s embedded in to many math curriculums; plus early math skills kids need to thrive.

You can connect with Meg on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meg-hearn-m-ed-nbct-47a67071/

In this episode, I mentioned the Time Tracking Journal, a strategy for improving time-management, future planning, and executive functioning during daily tasks like academic assignments or daily routines. You can learn more about the Time Tracking Journal here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/timejournal

We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL. 

IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you do the following and more:
  • Simplify and streamline technology
  • Save teachers’ time
  • Reliably meet Tier 1 standards
  • Improve student performance on state assessments
🚀 Ready to see why leading districts trust IXL for their educational needs? Visit IXL.com/BE today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.
What are tech and curriculum companies doing for K-12 education? (with Meg Hearn)