Project RED: The Technology Factor

Working with Project RED (Revolutionizing Education), the Pearson Foundation has helped to establish a national survey and research project that analyzes factors leading to the successful use of technology for classroom learning. Surveying schools across the United States, Project RED’s researchers have inventoried what works in classrooms and documented the most successful school-based strategies for technology investment.

In October 2010, Project RED released The Technology Factor: Nine Keys to Student Achievement and Cost Effectiveness, a study of 1,000 schools that confirmed that when used properly classroom technology can influence academic success; reduce dropout rates and disciplinary actions; increase graduation; and improve high-stakes test scores.

In April 2012, Project RED launched the first-ever professional learning community based on Project RED’s ongoing research that is designed to its research. The site promotes the building, maintaining, and sharing of best practices to ensure that classroom-based technological implementations succeed.

Project RED’s initial research suggests that successful schools and classrooms consistently:

  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.

Their research also revealed the degree to which when properly used classroom technology can successfully influence academic success, reduce dropout rates and disciplinary actions, increase graduation and improve high-stakes test scores.

Now, available at www.projectred.org, the Project RED professional learning community offers tools, resources and collaboration opportunities for district leaders and school administrators who are passionate about bringing change to learning and preparing students for successful futures. The website also presents Project RED’s practical, research-based method for integrating technology into school districts and for helping educators realize the real financial savings that come from successful technology integration in schools.

With support from sponsors Intel, Hewlett-Packard, SMART Technologies, and the Pearson Foundation, Project RED is continuing to survey American schools and document specific technological implementations in more detail. In the meantime, innovations in digital media, online communications, and mobile devices point to growing possibilities for learning applications, and this research project will provide essential guidance for educators and administrators.