SmartBrief’s 2022 EdTech Reader’s Choice Awards come at a pivotal time for edtech. Edtech has been a lifeline for students when school buildings have been closed and has given teachers new resources that, in many cases, have also changed the way they approach in-person teaching.

Teachers, students and parents discovered how edtech can improve learning. Sellers recognize new ways to improve their products. And educators and administrators are working to increase access.

We asked SmartBrief readers to name the solutions and platforms they find most effective. Renaissance and Clever were the big winners of SmartBrief’s 2022 EdTech Reader’s Choice Awards. SmartBrief readers have selected their favorite edtech programs in several categories, and we’ve included some comments from educators.

Curriculum development

Co-winner: myON from Renaissance

My ON offers reading exercises and a library of enhanced e-books and curated news articles for different age groups.

“The interface for students and teachers is simple and straightforward.” —Jitender Rajpoot, Los Angeles Unified School District

Co-winner: Mimic Simulations by Stukent

Mimic simulations goes beyond theory give students practice making real-style financial decisions and choices, and they can feel the consequences in the classroom.

“I can immediately see how this product will be useful with the special populations I work with.” Melissa Ringold, Wesley Family Services, Pennsylvania

“I was impressed with the budgeting simulation they have which allows the teacher to “pay” the student based on their class work/behavior all week, then the student has bills to pay according to the lifestyle he has chosen, etc.” -Mary Miller, Central Unified School District 397 Kansas

Honorable mentions: No red ink and Discovery Education K-12 Platform

“[NoRedInk] is a great way to get students practicing grammar. — Timothy Holland, Caldwell Schools, North Carolina

“Discovery education has so much different resources in so much subjects/subjects and grade levels. Their videos are the best! —Patricia Detrich, Austin, Texas Independent School District

Classroom assessment

Co-Winner: Renaissance Star Ratings

Star Ratings let schools and teachers view, filter, set goals, track progress, and measure mastery.

“It helps me in my teaching and my differentiation that I place in my class lesson plans.” — Alexander Major, Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island

Co-winner: Proliftic from Sourcewell

Proliftic aids in efficiency and time management by bringing together data, systems, and resources from educators and enables replication and scaling.

Honorable Mention: Edmentum Study Island and exact path

study island is a standards-based assessment and practice program for reading and math. exact path offers K-12 math, reading, and language arts assessments.

“Study Island is fun and engaging. The problems and curriculum are challenging, as they should be. Reports are easy for teachers to understand and navigate, and game options are fun for students.” — Allison Shoemaker, Ashe County Public SchoolsNorth Carolina

Class management

Winner: Clever

CleverThe classroom management platform includes teacher pages, messages, analytics, library, and other tools.

“[You] may have district and teacher pages. I like the fact that you can access various apps with just one login. — B. Hayden, Bonny Eagle School District, Maine

early education

Co-winner: Renaissance Lalilo

Lalilo offers an adaptive early learning practice that includes phonetics, phonology and phonemic awareness.

“This product is so engaging for K-2 scholars, especially ELL scholars who need additional support with phonetic and phonemic awareness and foundational skills.” — Camille Bourguignon, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina

Co-winner: Learn Reading Excite by Ally

Excite Reading is a multi-sensory reading program that helps students who struggle with reading deficits.

“[I] I love Learning Ally – great paid and scholarship options. — Magan Gaddis, Logan County Schools, Kentucky

Honorable Mention: The discovery of Reading Horizons

The discovery of Reading Horizons helps students learn to decode and spell proficiently and is aligned with the science of reading.

Learning management systems

Winner: Clever

Clever offers resources designed to enable teachers to create and manage digital learning environments.

Professional development

Co-winner: Renaissance Professional Learning

Renaissance Professional Learning collaborates with teachers on flexible and results-oriented solutions for professional development.

Co-winner: Vector Solutions Vector Training

vector training offers online training created by experts in safety, prevention and specialized education.

Co-winner: National Certificate in STEM Education from the National Institute for STEM Education

The National STEM Education Certificate allows teachers to demonstrate their skills, acquire skills and receive certification.

“Extremely informative and offers great resources.” — Renee Blackshear, Texas State Technical College

“Comprehensive support for STEM teacher preparation.” -Paul Whitaker Englewood School DistrictColorado

Safety and security

Co-winner: MyConcern from The Safeguarding Co.

My concern allows educators to easily record, manage, and report protection and welfare concerns.

Co-winner: Singlewire Software’s InformaCast Incident Management

InformaCast Incident Management features an interface where educators can alert, track and resolve incidents.

“Ease of use.” — Jennifer Pratt, School District of Chickasaw County, Mississippi

SEL: Mental and Emotional Teletherapy

Co-winner: Learn meaningful conversations from A to Z

Meaningful conversations helps educators help students see themselves and others well represented in the world.

Useful for learning to manage students’ emotions. — Fabian Bennett, Hardin County Schools, Kentucky

Co-winner: Pixton Comic Builder

Pixton Comic Builder allows students to create comics as a way to enhance writing and artistic potential.

“I love how the students have engaged with Pixton.” —Julie O’Quin, Marion School District, Arkansas

special education

Winner: The Essentials of PresenceLearning Therapy

Therapy Essentials offers online therapy tools and assessments to help staff overcome backlogs.

“[I] I liked the FERPA compliance component. — Theresa Harris, Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia

Honorable mention: Pixton Comic Builder

Pixton Comic Builder allows students to create comics as a way to enhance writing and artistic potential.


Co-winner: Science BrainPOP

Science BrainPOP allows students to explore their world by creating, building and collaborating in core and supplementary subjects.

“Dynamic science lessons with online labs.” — John Marsh, Garden Grove Unified School District, California

“A great mine of information.” — G. Hilton, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Maryland

Co-winner: Discovery Education STEM Career Coalition

STEM Careers Coalition offers step-by-step activities that teach key STEM skills and support student career success.

Resources on STEM careers are amazing. — John Pritchett, Newton County Schools, Georgia

Co-winner: MIND Research Institute ST Mathematics

Mathematics ST uses a spatio-temporal approach – showing students how to manipulate objects in space and time – starting with visual concepts, then introducing symbols, language and discussion.

“ST Math allows students to experience math in a way that allows them to understand what algorithms are all about. This is essential to help students love math. — Mariama Hargrove, St. Louis Public Schools, Missouri


Diane Benson Harrington is an education editor at SmartBrief. Contact her by e-mail, Twitter Where LinkedIn.


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