the last two decades, education institutions have been hit by a tidal
wave of digital technology. Internet access, mobile devices, on-demand
video, social media, and data sharing have dramatically altered the way
students, families, and educators access information, communicate ideas,
and chart paths for their own learning. The time has never been better
for breaking out of old and ineffective approaches to education, and a
host of new players—from innovative schools to edtech start-ups—have
appeared on the horizon to offer new ideas.
Yet the risks are great. Without taking steps to ensure that all students have opportunities to learn using new tools and methods, technological advances could further deepen the educational divide between underserved populations and more affluent communities. Students need access to high-speed networks and digital-age learning materials, as well as educators and media mentors who can guide them to the tools and materials that help them learn. A stronger education system depends on a more competitive, open marketplace for information and educational resources. Without concerted efforts to achieve positive outcomes for all, many students will continue to equate getting an education with an ever-more difficult struggle to keep their heads above water.
The Learning Technologies Project seeks to help ensure that all students have access to the information, tools, and experiences they need to succeed in the Digital Age. We generate policy ideas and promote approaches that emphasize equity and open access to information, and we apply those ideals across the education spectrum from birth through college and career. With a focus on storytelling, our papers and multimedia projects explore the effects of new policies on students’ learning and spotlight promising efforts in states, school districts, and communities to help students succeed.