Technology can be a powerful tool for transforming learning and improving achievement for students who have been historically underserved. Yet many inequities persist in students’ access to and use of technology for learning. Integrating technology into instruction can ensure high-quality digital learning opportunities for all students.
SRI Education investigates ways to accelerate and expand the adoption of effective learning technologies. We also explore how technology can enable new forms of research, transcend data silos and reduce the burden on educators for participating in education research. Our mission is to help educators identify and apply new, equitable approaches to digital learning that increase accessibility, teaching effectiveness and student outcomes.
About the digital learning and technology program
Students need the right knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st century. SRI Education sees technology as a valuable tool for improving teaching and learning. But it is essential to consider how technology is designed and implemented to meet the needs of all students. Digital learning means more than technology itself—it also relates to how effectively the technology is used in the classroom.
SRI Education works with teachers, leaders and faculty from early childhood to higher education to design and use technology to help students learn complex concepts and skills, such as algebra, critical thinking and data literacy. We also study collaborative and assistive technologies, open educational resources, online courses, micro-credentials and adaptive learning systems that provide real-time feedback to guide teaching and learning. And we examine the impact of different approaches to implementing educational technology, such as 1:1 programs and course redesigns, on students’ learning experiences and outcomes.
SRI Education finds exciting opportunities to innovate. For example, we are exploring how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, speech recognition, virtual and augmented reality, computer vision and robotics can enhance learning and make education research more efficient and cost effective. Some of these technologies emerge from SRI’s own laboratories.
Recent workmore +
ASSISTments Efficacy & Replication Studies
SRI conducted an efficacy study of more than 2,500 students on the benefits of online homework support for students’ mathematics learning Homework is important, but traditional ways of doing homework in isolation do not support students who need more help. Technology has the potential to change homework into a better learning experience. Students can receive […]
Evaluation of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative
The Apple and ConnectED Initiative was launched in 2014 and coupled 1:1 iPad access with comprehensive support in a diverse set of 114 schools. The project sought to catalyze transformed learning opportunities for students in historically underserved communities across America. To be eligible to apply, 96% or more of each school’s students had to qualify […]
Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools
SRI is conducting a study to understand how math teachers are using the Khan’s Academy online resource in classrooms to improve instruction and student learning. Since Khan Academy’s appearance on the Web, users have viewed more than 365 million videos and solved over 1.8 billion math problems. The Khan Academy website offers free instructional videos for students […]
Evaluating digital learning programs
To increase equitable access to high-quality digital learning, educators need to know what programs work, whom those programs benefit and under what conditions the programs are most effective.
SRI Education conducts large-scale, multisite evaluations to provide usable information on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of digital learning programs. Our researchers combine rigorous quantitative designs, such as randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments, with qualitative data collection and analysis to probe the results of digital learning programs or provide formative feedback to improve program design and implementation. We also conduct research to help clients build Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) evidence for their programs or products.
Learn more about SRI Education’s evaluations of digital learning programs
- Evaluation of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative
- Khan Academy Evaluation
- OER Degree Initiative evaluation
- ASSISTments Efficacy & Replication Studies
- Evaluation of Rocketship Education’s Use of DreamBox Learning’s Online Mathematics Program
- Next Generation Courseware Challenge Evaluation
- Blog: Can Adaptive Courseware Technology Positively Impact Student Learning Outcomes?
- Ready to Learn Initiative (RTL)
- Supporting Students in Online Learning
- TABLE – Technologies for Adult Basic Literacy
- Virtual Virginia Evaluation
- Evaluation of Yixue Adaptive Learning
Implementing scaling, and sustaining digital learning
Informed selection and implementation of educational technologies is critical because their effectiveness depends on how well they fit with context, users and learning goals. Leaders need to understand the organizational and systemic factors that aid or impede the successful rollout and scale-up of digital learning programs.
SRI Education builds capacity in the field through technical assistance to support implementation and evaluation of digital learning programs. Our experts produce guides, tools and professional learning opportunities for educators seeking to adopt, expand or sustain digital learning. We also support edtech developers to maximize their return on investment through data-informed designs and product testing.
Learn more about SRI Education’s technical assistance for digital learning
Advancing equity through digital access and use
Classrooms today are diverse in racial and ethnic identities, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Yet systemic racism and inequities persist in our education system, magnified by the pandemic and shift to remote learning. Educators, policymakers and edtech developers need to understand and apply high-quality, culturally inclusive and accessible digital learning to support diverse students.
SRI Education explores ways to use technology to make learning accessible and relevant to all students’ individual learning approaches, cultural knowledge, and backgrounds. For example, we collaborate with other SRI divisions ￼(computer vision, artificial intelligence, speech and natural language and robotics) to consider how we might apply our innovative technologies to enhance diagnosis and improve learning outcomes for￼ students with disabilities. We also work with industry leaders to codesign and implement software and tools that support inclusion and positive outcomes for all students.
Learn more about SRI Education’s projects to promote digital equity
Using technology to measure and optimize teaching and learning
More data on learning means educators need more time to review and understand how to use those data. Educators can benefit from automated processes that measure learning more frequently and produce streamlined and useable results, without taking away valuable instructional time.
Through learning analytics, SRI Education analyzes and translates large amounts of data to help educators easily understand how students learn and optimize learning experiences. We explore ways to automate data collection and analysis so that the process is more accurate, less burdensome, less expensive and more useful for improvement.
Learn more about SRI Education’s projects on technologies to measure learning
Designing learning technologies and assessments
Educators need new technologies that meaningfully engage students in learning challenging concepts and developing important skills. Also, educators can improve instruction and tailor supports by using technology-based formative assessments of students’ learning.
SRI Education uses the science of learning to design dynamic technologies that support digital learning, especially for ￼multilingual learners and students with low literacy skills. And we are a leader in applying evidence-centered design and validating innovative assessments that measure complex processes and proficiencies, such as computational thinking and collaboration.
Learn more about SRI Education’s projects on learning technologies and assessments
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Predict Young Learner Online Learning Engagement
The recent surge of online language learning services in the past decade has benefitted second language learners. However, there is a lack of understanding of whether learners, especially young learners, are engaged in online learning, and how educators can enhance the engagement of the online learning experience.
Encouraging Impacts of an Open Education Resource Degree Initiative on College Students’ Progress to Degree
Textbooks are traditional and useful learning resources for college students, but commercial texts books have been widely criticized for their high costs, restricted access, limited flexibility, and uninspiring learning experiences.
An Evaluation of a First-of-its-kind Hybrid Law Degree Program
There are few published studies investigating the effectiveness of hybrid formats at the program level in graduate legal education. A hybrid Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program launched by a Midwestern institution was the first ABA-accredited law degree program with a substantial online learning component.
Automated Student Group Collaboration Assessment and Recommendation System Using Individual Role and Behavioral Cue
Early development of specific skills can help students succeed in fields like Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Different education standards consider “Collaboration” as a required and necessary skill that can help students excel in these fields.
The Apple and ConnectED Initiative: Three Case Stories
These case stories intend to give an in-depth look at each school’s setting and the details of how ConnectED unfolded in each of the following places: Compton, California; Tuskegee, Alabama; and Orondo, Washington.
The Efficacy of Digital Media Resources in Improving Children’s Ability to Use Informational Text: An Evaluation of Molly of Denali from PBS KIDS
Two nine-week trials with a national sample of 263 first-graders examined whether free educational videos and digital games supported children’s ability to use informational text to answer real-world questions.
Digital media can help preschoolers learn real-world science skills
Many studies report that children can learn a range of skills from well-designed educational media. Yet we know relatively little about whether and how well children are able to apply skills they’ve learned from digital media in the real world.
Early science and engineering: The impact of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on Learning
This study explores whether providing families with access to PBS KIDS The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! ™ activities can help children learn physical science and engineering concepts and practices.
Designing Smartphone Microlessons to Improve the Cybersecurity Workforce
This is a poster presented at the 4th annual Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace principal investigators’ meeting.