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Edtech 2023: SmartBrief Readers’ Choice Awards

From classroom management to professional development to reading and literacy, SmartBrief readers chose their favorite platforms and solutions.

5 min read



Adoption of education technology has increased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Data from Ernst & Young shows that 60% of educators use digital tools for planning adopted these tools amid the pandemic. Use of digital instructional materials grew from 28% before the pandemic to 52% today, the data show. 

What technologies do SmartBrief readers use? What are their favorites? We asked readers to vote for the tools and solutions they rely on most for their practice for this year’s SmartBrief Education EdTech Readers’ Choice Awards. Read on to see who won and what readers had to say about their choices.

Classroom Assessment

Co-winners: Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready and Otus

i-Ready aims to meet a range of school district assessment needs in a single platform. The i-Ready Assessment suite delivers data that teachers can use to target their instruction where students need it. 

Otus assessment measures student achievement and details where students should go next in their learning pathway. The platform includes standards-aligned prebuilt assessments and tools to build your own assessments, for every subject and grade level.

“Amazing tool for assessment. Has over 60 question types you can customize. Also has a great interface to analyze the results.” – Educator, Hemet USD

Honorable Mention

  • Edmentum’s Study Island 
  • Mastery Portfolio’s The MasteryBook

Professional Development

Winner: Lexia Learning’s LETRS

Lexia LETRS is a professional learning course for reading instruction. The course, designed for elementary educators, is based on the science of reading.

“LETRS training is remarkably comprehensive, engaging, and effective.” – Instructional coaching consultant

Honorable Mention

  • Benchmark Education’s Benchmark Academy 

Classroom Management

Co-winners: NetSupport’s and Otus classroom management system

NetSupport’s lets teachers monitor the applications and internet use on students’ computers, regardless where they are connected. Teachers can launch applications, simultaneously, on every student device or bring individual students back on task if they get distracted from a lesson.

Otus classroom management system is designed to identify students needing additional support, help teachers adjust pacing and content for their students’ needs and deliver practical feedback that students can use to make their learning more reflective.

Curriculum Development

Co-winners: Discovery Education’s Pivot Interactives and Avantis Education’s The Eduverse

The Eduverse is an online learning platform that provides a safe and secure ‘metaverse’ for K-12 schools. Eduverse lets teachers and students explore immersive virtual worlds in a safe and inclusive environment.

Pivot Interactives provides cloud-based activities and labs designed to engage students in the exploration of real scientific phenomena. 

“An outstanding array of interactive video labs for science students at a reasonable price.” Educator, Niles Township High School District 219

Honorable Mention

  • Cengage Group’s Gale In Context: For Educators 
  • IXL Learning’s IXL 
  • Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform 
  • Learning A-Z’s Writing A-Z  

Early Education

Winner: Cengage Group’s Gale In Context: Elementary

Gale In Context: Elementary is a cross-curricular database students can use both in and outside the classroom. The platform lets teachers share curated resources and primary sources with students. 

Honorable Mention 

  • Clear Touch Interactive’s 7000XT interactive panel

Hardware & Technology

Winner: Logitech’s Rugged Combo 3 Touch

The Rugged Combo 3 Touch is a slim, protective keyboard case with an integrated multi-touch trackpad for seventh, eighth and ninth generation iPads. The sealed, pry-resistant keys and durable case exceeds MIL-STD-810g drop test standards.

Honorable Mention

  • Acer Chromebook Spin 513 with Snapdragon 7c processor
  • Qualcomm Technologies’s Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3

Reading & Literacy

Co-winners: Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader and Savvas Learning Company’s Savvas Essentials: Foundational Reading 

Savvas Essentials: Foundational Reading is a K-2 supplemental curriculum that focuses on concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, and teaching high-frequency words and fluency.

Accelerated Reader is a platform designed to help students develop their reading skills. The digital program lets students and teachers manage and monitor independent reading practice in both English and Spanish. 

“AR is great with improving student comprehension.” Educator, Saint Columban School

Honorable Mention

  • Learning A-Z’s Foundations A-Z
  • Voyager Sopris Learning’s LANGUAGE! Live  

Safety & Security

Co-winners: Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave Panic Button and Singlewire Software’s Visitor Aware

Rave Panic Button delivers one-touch communication to campuses, employees, 9-1-1 and first responders to trigger immediate action in the event of an emergency.

Visitor Aware gives schools and organizations tools designed to screen visitors, identify threats and protect access to sensitive areas. 

Social-emotional Learning

Winner: Vector Solutions’ Student Safety & Wellness Courses

Vector Solutions’ Student Safety & Wellness Courses focus on critical safety, wellness, and social and emotional learning topics. The courses, developed by subject matter experts, and are designed to nurture a positive school culture, bolster student outcomes and keep students safe.

Special Education

Winner: Kanga by Presence 

Kanga is an interactive therapy platform designed to engage students and equip clinicians with a myriad of resources and caseload management tools, in a single portal.


Co-winners: LEGO Education’s LEGO Education SPIKE Essential and Discovery Education’s Mystery Science

Mystery Science offers multimedia science and STEM lessons for K-5 students. Lessons include commonly asked questions, brief videos and prompts for guided class discussion. 

LEGO Education SPIKE Essential is designed to engage students in hands-on learning of STEAM concepts while developing skills in literacy, math and social-emotional learning.

“[I] used Lego class pack this year. Fantastic learning for students building robots for their future.” – Educator, Saint Columban School

Honorable Mention 

  • TCI’s Bring Science Alive
  • Discovery Education’s DoodleMath 

Kanoe Namahoe is the director of content for SmartBrief Education and Business Services. You can reach her at [email protected].