REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: FY 2020 84.305A (PDF: 428 KB) CLOSED
The Education Technology Research Program supports research to advance how existing or new forms of technology can be applied in education to improve student academic achievement.
Through this topic, IES is interested in the development and evaluation of education technology products and interventions intended for use by students or teachers in schools or through formal programs (e.g., after-school programs, distance learning programs, on-line programs) in domains including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and in reading and writing. The projects must have a strongly justified (theoretically, pedagogically, and empirically) scope and sequence of their content and a developmentally-appropriate user-interface for students.
The long-term outcome of this research investment includes an array of education technology products and interventions that have been documented to be efficacious for improving learning in authentic education settings.
Between 2008–2017, NCER has invested over $75 million in the Education Technology Research Program to support 41 research projects.
3 Exploration Projects
27 Development and Innovation Projects
6 Efficacy and Replication Projects
1 Effectiveness Project
4 Measurement Projects
Since its inception in 2002, the Institute has invested in research on technological tools and interventions across all topic areas. The Compendium of Education Technology 2002-2014 details all of the projects involving technology across all topic areas within the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).
In Fiscal Year 2008, NCER initiated the Education Technology Research Program through its grants competition in order to highlight the need for more research on technology as a tool to support student learning in the classroom. Through the Education Technology Research Program, awards have been made to researchers to explore, develop, and test the efficacy of new approaches. These approaches which are leveraging education technology include the following:
- Artificial intelligence or intelligent tutors that continually assess student progress and provide adaptive, personalized, and real-time feedback to support learning;
- Digital books that provide text, visual, and audio to support struggling readers;
- Virtual environments where students to explore content and complete tasks to demonstrate mastery of learning; and
- Game-based learning interventions to facilitate student engagement, persistence, and learning; and dashboards that organize and present data to teachers in new ways to inform instructional practice.
These approaches which are leveraging education technology include:
- Artificial intelligence or intelligent tutors that continually assess student progress and provide adaptive, personalized, and real-time feedback to support learning
- Digital books that provide text, visual, and audio to support struggling readers
- Virtual environments where students to explore content and complete tasks to demonstrate mastery of learning
- Game-based learning interventions to facilitate student engagement, persistence, and learning; and dashboards that organize and present data to teachers in new ways to inform instructional practice
Looking across the projects, 27 of 41 (66%) of the grants funded under the Education Technology Topic have been Development and Innovation projects. In terms of content focus, 24 projects (59%) have focused in areas of science and math, and 17 (41%) have focused on reading and writing, including four projects which have focused on supporting language acquisition for students who are English Learners. Projects have addressed educational needs for children in early education settings and students in grade schools, middle schools, and high schools.
Why is Education Technology Unique?
Through the Education Technology topic, the Institute provides a mechanism for technology researchers to apply innovative approaches to increasing opportunities for personalized and collaborative learning, and access to educational meaningful content and resources. The topic also supports research that teachers can apply to differentiate and personalized instructional approaches.
The Importance of Engaging Teachers and Students
The Institute encourages applicants to this topic to actively engage with teachers and students when formulating research plans to facilitate the identification of research questions that are meaningful and practical in authentic education settings. Involvement of practitioners also helps to ensure that the materials, tasks, assessments, and interventions developed and evaluated through the Education Technology topic are appropriate for the age of the students and the setting in which the research is being conducted and/or the setting in which the intervention or assessment is intended for use.
The research coming out of this topic demonstrates the value of theory and research informing technological development to support and enhance new ways students can learn and for facilitating teacher instructional practice.
RELATED PROJECTS and PROGRAMS
The Department of Education and Institute of Education Sciences' Small Business Innovation Research Program (ED/IES SBIR)
Technology for Special Education
Precision Education: The Virtual Learning Lab
Cognition and Student Learning
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
Reading and Writing
A Compendium of Education Technology Research Funded by NCER and NCSER 2002 – 2014
Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings From Two Student Cohorts