How do we research and measure the impact of technology on teaching and learning?

Because these tools are new and most of our current research is dedicated to studying traditional teaching methods, we must conduct more research into how technology can improve teaching and learning.


  • Limited investment in fundamental scientific research to understand the impact of technology on teaching and learning

    • Despite continued investment in education technology in the “field” (e.g., by schools, content providers, etc.), there is a limited understanding of whether solutions in practice are making any meaningful difference.
    • Lack of a primary research basis to validate the impact of technology limits schools and districts' adoption of technology.
  • Limited understanding of how students learn and the potential role of technology in advancing learning

    • Little investment in understanding the future potential of technology to impact education – few collaborative long-term, blue sky research efforts to understand the potential for technology in teaching and learning.
    • Few advances in knowledge of how students and adults learn, especially as it relates to technology’s role in advancing learning.
  • Lack of applicable and actionable insights that are leveraged by educators and content providers in the “field”

    • School leaders and educators choose solutions and methodologies based on what is popular, not necessarily based on what is proven to be most effective.
    • Current pedagogical research is not informing the types of new products that are being developed.
    • “Best practices” identified as part of research efforts are not informing teacher professional development content.
  • See it



Current Efforts

  • Project Red conducted the first large-scale national study in 2010 to identify and prioritize the factors that drive the impact of technology at some schools to be dramatically greater than at others – nine key factors were identified that significantly improved education ROI by transforming teaching and learning

  • SRI launched the Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning initiative in partnership with the Dept. of Education in 2010. The initiative examines the effectiveness of different models of online learning relative to each other and to traditional face-to-face courses.

  • A bipartisan Congressional mandate launched Digital Promise in 2011 to support a national ed tech research platform, focusing on two key initiatives: the League of Innovative Schools and Digital Promise Fellows Program.