Educational Technology

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Educational technology refers not only to the hardware and software used in an educational setting, but how technological resources are used to support teaching and learning. RAND researchers form multidisciplinary teams to field rigorous studies of educational technology that provide actionable information to educators, policymakers, and product developers.

  • Nine year old student Jordan in his bedroom attending online school in Broward County, Florida, March 31, 2020, photo by Johnny Louis/Reuters

    Commentary

    School District Leaders Indicate Online Instruction Will Outlast COVID-19. Here's What to Consider

    Jan 27, 2021

    Remote K–12 learning at scale is an unprecedented challenge for everyone involved. It can and would improve dramatically if educators, government, and philanthropy treated it as a work in progress, featuring evidence-based development of quality online curricula, continuous improvement, and engagement of teachers.

  • Teachers work outside their school building for safety reasons as they prepare for the delayed start of the school year due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    This School Year Could Be Another Casualty of the Pandemic

    Nov 16, 2020

    Most U.S. schools are providing either fully remote or hybrid instruction as the pandemic continues to limit students' learning. Students are less prepared for grade-level work and those from vulnerable populations are most at risk of falling behind. Some 80 percent of teachers report burnout.

Explore Educational Technology

  • Tablet shown with school supplies

    Report

    Use of Open Educational Resources in an Era of Common Standards

    EngageNY Curricula is commonly used in New York—in part due to educators' desire to help students meet state standards. Survey data shows EngageNY gives students more opportunities to engage in standards-aligned practices compared with other materials.

    Mar 27, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Governance and Adaptation to Innovative Modes of Higher Education Provision

    This report examines innovative modes of higher education provision, as well as ways in which the management and governance of higher education are changing in support of innovations in higher education provision.

    Dec 22, 2016

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

    Essay

    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.

    Blog

    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

    Commentary

    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 teacher and student in a classroom looking at a laptop

    Commentary

    Technology Is Only Part of Personalized Learning

    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.

    Mar 4, 2016

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

    Essay

    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

    Commentary

    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

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Essay

    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

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Report

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Report

    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

    Report

    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

    Blog

    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

    Report

    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

    Report

    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

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