Awards specifically to free educational software that has proven to be effective in randomized field experiments involving a large number of schools.
Ben Goldacre described randomized field experiments as following: ""Randomised trials are our best way to find out if something works: by randomly assigning participants to one intervention or another, and measuring the outcome we're interested in, we exclude all alternative explanations for any difference between the two groups. If you don't know which of two reasonable interventions is best, and you want to find out, a trial will tell you." Randomized controlled trials are the gold-standard of evidence in evidence-based education and medicine.
Awards should be routinely given to free educational software that has proven to significantly improve objectively measurable educational outcomes in large, randomized field experiments.
Educational institutions should make it reasonably easy for software developers to test their educational software in randomized field experiments in real classrooms. Educational software that proves to be effective in rigorous evaluations should be awarded, and educational software that doesn't work should have to pay compensation to the schools where the testing took place.