Newsela Awarded Research-Based Design Product Certification

Newsela Awarded Research-Based Design Product Certification

February 6, 2020

New certification provides transparency to edtech marketplace

The leading instructional content platform Newsela announced today it has earned the Research-Based Design product certification from Digital Promise. The new product certification is intended to serve as a rigorous, reliable signal for consumers, including school administrators, educators, and families, looking for evidence of research-based educational technology products.

Newsela submitted evidence to Digital Promise confirming a link between research on how students learn and its product’s design, and is among the first of 13 companies to receive the Research-Based Design product certification.

“Schools and families want to know which edtech products can actually help students learn,” said Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “Digital Promise’s Product Certifications are designed to help strengthen consumers’ confidence in choosing research-based products, while recognizing product developers doing the important work of incorporating valid research into their designs.”

After nearly a decade of edtech marketplace research, Digital Promise recognized that while consumers want to know whether a product will improve learning, there is a strong distrust of product-authored studies. Additionally, edtech efficacy or pilot studies conducted once products were already chosen were found to be largely impacted by contextual factors like educator buy-in or a school’s technology infrastructure. Through Product Certifications, consumers can narrow their options as they select products by identifying edtech that is truly based in research about learning before trying it out in their Classrooms.

The Research-Based Design product certification uses a competency-based learning framework, developed in consultation with Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project advisory board, expert researchers in the Learning Sciences field, and dozens of educators across the United States. Further detail about its development can be found in Digital Promise’s new report, “ Designing Edtech that Matters for Learning: Research-Based Design Product Certifications.”

All developers, educators, edtech investors, and families are also encouraged to sign the Research-Based Product Promise and demand high-quality, research-driven products that support each unique learner. More information on Digital Promise’s product certifications can be found at

About Newsela

We believe the best instruction starts with the best content. But finding great content that’s engaging, accessible to every student and aligned to teaching standards isn’t easy. Since our founding in 2013, Newsela has been obsessed with taking authentic, real-world content from the most trusted original content providers in the world and turning it into learning materials that are classroom-ready. 

Today, over 2 million teachers and 25 million students in 90% of U.S. schools turn to Newsela for content that’s personalized to student interests, accessible to everyone, aligned to instructional standards, and attached to activities and reporting that hold teachers accountable for implementation and students accountable for their work. With over 10,000 texts in our library and 10 new texts published every day across 20+ genres, Newsela enables educators to go deep on any subject they choose. Teachers love the structured choice Newsela provides, and administrators love having the assurance that every content choice teachers make is vetted, aligned to standards, and contributing to learning.

About Digital Promise

Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world. For more information, visit the Digital Promise website and follow @digitalpromise for updates.

Media Contact

Highwire PR for Newsela

Erica Lawton Weinschenk, Digital Promise