With a flood of digital tools available for educators and more being created every day, these are exciting times for ed tech.

Some observers see technology’s possibilities for improving education, others see technology as just the latest fad. And all of the choices — from mobile apps to virtual and augmented reality — can be overwhelming.

To help “figure out the signal from all that noise,” WestEd’s Michelle Tiu and colleagues have been evaluating dozens of ed tech products in recent years.

With funding from a federal program to support small business innovations and from a nonprofit that invests in education entrepreneurship to improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color, WestEd’s work has generated insights into what makes for the most effective tools and into how ed tech may have the potential to improve learning and increase equity for all students.