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Educational Transformations Enabled by Technology Robert Tinker The Concord Consortium

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1 Educational Transformations Enabled by Technology Robert Tinker The Concord Consortium

2 1/20/032National Academy The Problem INNOVATION and APPLIED RESEARCH are: Essential to major advances in education that technology makes possible Under funded Overlooked in most policy debates

3 1/20/033National Academy Its a Long Way from Basic Research to Improved Schools A single development does not lead to classroom change Instead Insights and innovations cascade from more basic to more applied research New materials draw from many sources of insight and innovation

4 1/20/034National Academy The Research Spectrum AppliedBasic Implementation Research Cognitive Research Tools and Platforms New Technologies IT-based Curricula Human Resource Development Educational Applications This all takes place in Pasteurs Quadrant (Don Stokes) Technical Innovations Curriculum Innovations

5 1/20/035National Academy Implementation Research Focus on in-schools studies. Examples –Use of models across the curriculum –New approach to political science in which students design institutions and role play –Intuitive calculus in elementary grades followed by major curriculum changes –Atomic physics before molecular biology

6 1/20/036National Academy Implementation Research Characteristics –Like medical field trials (somewhat) –The step before large-scale implementation –A few years ahead of current practice –Large numbers of students and teachers –Technology and training may be needed

7 1/20/037National Academy Example: Implementation Research Modeling Across the Curriculum –Three-year longitudinal study –Thirteen schools and 10,000 students –Consistent approach to modeling –Random assignment of treatments –Look for cumulative improvements in basic problem-solving skills

8 1/20/038National Academy Example: Guidance and Assessment Using Tools Embed the tool into lessons. Kids can learn from these through exploration. Careful design and testing with students needed.

9 1/20/039National Academy Educational Innovations Transformative, large scale educational innovations –Are feasible –Require large scale applied R&D –Are based on basic research and technical innovation –Draw from IT developments in other areas: games, science research, etc –Should be open source/open content

10 1/20/0310National Academy Who Creates Innovations? The funding picture –MSP: $1B total for implementation –Labs, Resource Centers, Systemic Initiatives: $1B/yr for dissemination –Centers for Teaching and Learning: $1B total for human resource development –No major government program for IT-based innovation –Business can reach large audiences Where are the inputs?

11 1/20/0311National Academy Who Creates Innovations? Where are IT-based educational innovations going to come from that transform K-14 education? –Not basic research –Not business –Not schools

12 1/20/0312National Academy A Missing Link Basic Research Dissemination Implementation Research and Innovation Teacher Professional Development Improved Teaching and Learning New Technology

13 1/20/0313National Academy Recommendations To realize the educational potential of information technologies, a research strategy is needed that is balanced between pure and applied Innovation in technology and curricula must be central to the strategy

14 1/20/0314National Academy Education Accelerators Promote, support, and study large-scale change in schools School-centered Large-scale change has risks Cannot make mistakes with students Schools need insurance and assurance Theory-based change supported by evidence Support for teachers, administrators, parents Extensive formative assessment: early-warning system in place

15 1/20/0315National Academy Education Accelerators Applied research requires interdisciplinary teams Centers, analogous to research centers in the sciences, are needed: Education Accelerators Centers must have close connections to schools and colleges By concentrating resources and expertise the research is more efficient and effective

16 1/20/0316National Academy Education Accelerators Need base funding for staff and a general research agenda Five-year, renewable grants Bulk of funding comes through peer reviewed projects to affiliated institutions

17 1/20/0317National Academy The Cost Cognitive research: 75 projects at $200K/yr = $20M/yr Technology: 50 projects @ $500K/yr = $25M/yr Software: 50 projects at $1M/yr = $50M/yr Curriculum: 50 at $1M/yr = $50M/yr Implementation: 50 at $2M/yr = $100M/yr Accelerators: 10 at $5M/yr = $50M/yr Human Resources: 200 @ $50K/yr = $10M/yr Total: $300M/yr for ten years

18 1/20/0318National Academy Worth it? $3B total over ten years 50 times current levels for innovation and applied research Tiny compared to the educational enterprise Comparable to current dissemination expenditures Can transform education

19 1/20/0319National Academy Fin Contact: Information, free software, research results, reviews, and more at:

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