Ed-tech group IDs ways to help boost achievement

Project RED will use its past research to offer educational opportunities for district leaders.

An initiative that uses research to identify ways to use educational technology successfully soon will launch a professional learning community with resources and collaborative opportunities to help school and district leaders better prepare students for a global economy.

Project RED, which aims to help educators effectively integrate technology into the classroom, consists of the Greaves Group, the Hayes Connection, and the One-to-One Institute.

Two years ago, Project RED released landmark research indicating the key factors in ed-tech success. Now, in its second phase, the project will use its past research to offer educational opportunities for district leaders and school administrators.

“The Project RED research is proof that technology can be a practical, cost-effective way to improve student achievement,” said One-to-One Institute CEO Leslie Wilson and Project RED team member. “The key, however, is effective implementation, and that’s exactly what sets Project RED apart from other studies. After analyzing the research findings, Project RED developed a proven method to productively and efficiently integrate technology into the classroom.”

The group’s previous research, which involved 1,000 schools and showed that proper ed-tech implementation can help boost student achievement, provided a basis for what the group says is a replicable design to help schools use technology in the most effective way possible.

There are four key findings the Project RED research reveals about using technology in schools to improve learning performance and return on investment, the group says:

  • Personalize learning for all students through frequent, appropriate use of educational technology integrated into the curriculum and instruction in all classrooms and other learning places. Technology is not a supplement, but an integral part of students’ lives outside of the classroom—and it is most effective when it becomes an integral part of the core curriculum as well.
  • Make professional learning and effective use of technology high priorities for administrators and teachers. High-quality professional learning for teachers is a key to using technology to its fullest potential. To truly transform education, educators must be able to integrate technologies confidently into their teaching and assessments.
  • Use technologies such as social media, games, and simulations to engage students and encourage collaboration. Today’s students have been communicating and learning on technology platforms as long as they can remember. Leverage the extraordinary power of technology to connect with students, excite them about learning, and empower them to succeed.
  • Use weekly online assessments to gauge student learning and then tailor instruction for personalized learning experiences. Technology can assess each student’s learning progress faster to help teachers guide students more effectively. Use this information to determine instruction, remediation, and accelerated learning strategies for each student.

Based on its research,Project RED developed nine key implementation factors to support school districts as they implement ed-tech programs. These key factors can directly influence academic success, specifically in reducing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, reducing disciplinary actions, and improving high-stakes test scores, the group says. In order of importance, the nine key implementation factors are:

  1. Integrate technology into every single classroom.
  2. Lead change by providing teachers time for both professional learning and collaboration.
  3. Engage students daily with technology, including games, simulations, and social media.
  4. Fully integrate technology into the daily curriculum across all core subjects.
  5. Conduct student assessments online.
  6. Provide each student with a computing device with internet access whenever possible.
  7. Excite students with virtual field trips.
  8. Encourage students to use search engines daily.
  9. Collaborate with principals via short courses in teacher buy-in, best practices, and technology-transformed learning.

“We know that technology alone is not enough,” said Intel Education Strategist Paige Johnson. “Schools need access to the valuable research on what works that can help guide the implementation of their technology platforms deployments. The Project RED initiative gives districts a professional learning community to study best known methods and adapt the approaches for their local needs.”

Intel Corp. is the founding sponsor of Project RED. Additional sponsors include Hewlett-Packard, SMART Technologies, and the Pearson Foundation.

See also:

On ed tech, we’re asking the wrong question

Are computers for every student a wise investment?

Mobile Learning: Effective Anytime, Anywhere Education

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