Educational Technology


Educational technology refers not only to the hardware and software used in an educational setting but also to learning through use of technological resources. RAND's research into educational technology includes the study of distributed learning and interactive multimedia instruction in the military, computers in schools, and the role of the Internet in educational settings.

  • Teacher using a tablet in a classroom while students work on desktop computers, photo by Wavebreakmedia/iStock


    Inspiring Better Teacher Planning and Instruction or Just Adding Noise?

    Jul 20, 2016

    Teachers can and should have the freedom to select and develop at least some of their own instructional resources. But whether sites like Amazon Inspire will actually save teachers time and help them find high-quality resources is up for debate.

  • A teacher and student in a classroom looking at a laptop, photo by Rob/Fotolia


    Technology Is Only Part of Personalized Learning

    Mar 4, 2016

    The concept of personalized learning has gained favor in recent years, partly because new technology applications help to facilitate it. But those who characterize this instructional approach as “students just using computers or other devices” are greatly oversimplifying it.

Explore Educational Technology

  • Second-grade students in Baltimore County, Maryland, work with an instructor through a personalized learning initiative called Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (STAT)


    Personalized Learning: The Latest Buzz in Classroom Instruction

    Students in personalized learning classrooms made greater gains in math and reading than their peers in other schools. But there are barriers to fully personalized learning, including rigid state standards and time demands on teachers.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.


    A Summer Reading List for Congress

    To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.

    Aug 2, 2016

  • A teacher helps a high school student work on a laptop


    Helping Pittsburgh Stay on the Cutting Edge of Education Innovation

    Local organizations, educators, and leaders are creating remarkable learning experiences for Pittsburgh's young people, and other cities around the country are striving to replicate their innovations.

    May 8, 2016

  • A student raises his hand during a class at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California


    The Case for Correctional Education in U.S. Prisons

    Inmates who participate in any kind of educational program behind bars are up to 43 percent less likely to reoffend and return to prison. They also appear to be far more likely to find a job after their release.

    Jan 3, 2016

  • Mother and son using a touch pad tablet on a plane


    Step Aside, 'Screen Time.' Make Room for 'Screen Purpose.'

    Technology is simply another way to communicate, learn, and play. It shouldn't automatically be regarded as a threat. Whether technology helps or harms children largely depends on how it is used.

    Nov 17, 2015

  • Report

    The Feasibility of Developing a Repository of Assessments of Hard-to-Measure Competencies

    This report explores the feasibility of and challenges associated with building a repository of assessments of hard-to-measure competencies.

    Nov 3, 2015

  • Teacher helping a high school student on a computer


    Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization That Support Innovation

    As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • A toddler holds an electronic tablet


    Tech for Tots: Learning to Use the Power of Technology to Enrich Kids' Lives

    When it comes to youngsters and technology use, how much is too much? How young is too young? RAND is on the case, to help prepare children for success in school and life.

    Jan 20, 2015

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on technology literacy in kids, self-driving cars, marijuana legalization, hacking and cybersecurity, monetary compensation for mass tragedies, and recent philanthropic gifts to RAND.

    Jan 12, 2015

  • A teacher helps a girl use a digital tablet


    Helping Teachers Overcome Technology Barriers in Early Childhood Education

    When it comes to helping children appreciate the benefits of using technology in a classroom setting, early childhood education providers play a critical role integrating that technology appropriately, intentionally, and productively. But these educators face myriad barriers to fulfilling these roles.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • Father and son using an electronic tablet on bunk beds


    Improving Family Engagement in Early Childhood Education Through Technology

    Technology may afford new opportunities to improve early childhood education outcomes by empowering families to become better educators at home, and strengthening the connection and communication between school and home.

    Nov 17, 2014

  • Three preschool children using a tablet on the floor


    Access to Technology Is Key to Early Childhood Education

    For children from all income classes to benefit from the proper use of technology in early childhood education, providers, families, and children themselves must have access to an adequate technology infrastructure, including devices, connectivity, and software.

    Nov 4, 2014

  • A kindergarten teacher with children at the computer


    Early Childhood Educators and Technology

    Early childhood education (ECE) providers are in a position to help ensure that technology is used effectively. While there are obstacles, there are also courses of action that might be helpful in creating ECE providers who can ensure appropriate, intentional, and productive use of technology among young kids.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • Young boy with tablet


    Identifying an Adequate Technology Infrastructure for Early Childhood Education

    Infrastructure (devices, software, and connectivity) should support technology's potential to improve learning and build digital literacy among young kids. But many factors make “adequate infrastructure” a moving target, such as the myriad of choices on the market.

    Oct 20, 2014

  • Preschoolers in a classroom looking at a tablet with their teacher


    The Role of Technology in the Lives of Children

    On a typical day, children ages 3-5 spend an average of four hours with technology, and technology use is increasing among children of all ages. Debates about the role of technology in early childhood education are ongoing, with some providers, parents, and others yet to be convinced of its potential benefits.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • Little boy with tablet and mother


    Moving Beyond Screen Time: Appropriate Technology Use for Young Children

    Appropriate technology use by young kids has traditionally focused on a single, blunt measure: “screen time.” But technology and patterns of use have changed. A more comprehensive definition should also consider what technology and content kids use, how they use it, and why.

    Oct 8, 2014

  • Three preschoolers looking at a laptop with their teacher


    Identifying Goals for Technology Use in Early Childhood Education

    Technology use among young children is increasingly a fact of life. Establishing a clear set of goals that are broadly accepted by stakeholders is critical to planning for the successful integration of technology into early childhood education.

    Sep 22, 2014

  • A high school student gets instruction from her teacher

    Research Brief

    Competency-Based Education in Three Pilot Programs: What It Is, How It's Implemented, and How It's Working

    In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extended grants to three organizations involved with competency-based education approaches. RAND examined these organizations' implementation, student experiences, and student outcomes.

    Aug 4, 2014

  • High school students with teacher in class, using laptops


    Examining Competency-Based Education

    Competency-based education meets students where they are academically, provides opportunities for choice, and awards students credit for evidence of learning, not time spent studying a subject. Researchers identify lessons for policy, partnerships, and practice regarding this approach.

    Aug 4, 2014