The Language of Content

Articles from the Speak Agent team that provide classroom resources, implementation strategies, research-based perspectives, and updates regarding our Content+LanguageSM platform.

Speak Agent Awarded Learner Variability Product Certification

October 09, 2020 | Ben Grimley |

Yesterday, Speak Agent earned the Learner Variability product certification. Speak Agent is among the first 15 companies in the world to earn this new third-party certification. We were also among the first to earn the Research-Based Design certification in February 2020.

What is Learner Variability?

Learner variability describes the many ways in which each student differs in her or his cognitive and social-emotional needs and background. Learning sciences research shows that these differences make a huge impact on the learning process. This impacts ELLs, students of color, SLIFE, students who experience poverty, and students with learning differences.

What is the Certification?

Less than one in 10 education technology implementations lead to the desired learning outcomes. Many product marketers make claims of success that are based on studies done in highly controlled environments. But these studies often don't transfer to the real world. The failure of these products to address learner variability is one reason for this.

The new Learner Variability Product Certification is intended to serve as a rigorous, reliable signal for K-12 educators who need verifiable evidence for the products they adopt. Another reason that Speak Agent was awarded the certification is that we offer a clear theory of change that demonstrates how our product’s design is based on learning sciences research. The instructional strategies that we embed in our product are linked to this research and are accompanied by learning scaffolds and supports.

Why the Certification Matters:

Every company claims to have research. Every company claims to work for all learners. Few can prove it. Fewer still have a panel of independent third party experts who have certified their products — without any profit motive or other bias.

Speak Agent takes a different approach to learner variability than most companies. Instead of providing adaptive learning run by software algorithms, Speak Agent provides learning scaffolds and supports that give agency to teachers and students. This is core to our philosophy. The fact that Speak Agent earned this important certification means that our human-centered design approach has been validated as a rational alternative to the hyped-up "artificial intelligence" adaptive learning craze.

Badge Verification

Click here for public verification of the Learner Variability Product Certification.


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Ben Grimley

Written by Ben Grimley

Ben is CEO and Co-Founder of Speak Agent, Inc.