Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom

Digital technology in the classroom, when properly integrated, is helping American school children stay competitive globally, and on track to compete successfully in the 21st century workforce.
That’s the bottom line of a study recently completed by America’s Promise Alliance’s Center for Promise, commissioned by the Cable Impacts Foundation, to get a sense of the benefits of digital technology when properly introduced into American classrooms.
The study, called, Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom, explores digital learning as a strategy to improve student classroom experiences, and highlights the efforts of five school districts across the United States as they use technology to reshape the traditional K-12 learning environment.
“Our research findings illustrate how carefully planned and implemented digital learning initiatives can powerfully impact how students learn,” said Jonathan Zaff, Executive Director of the Center for Promise.  “Identifying innovative, yet practical ways to involve students in meaningful teaching plans that meet their individual needs and strengths is critical for creating positive pathways toward graduation.”
Key takeaways from the study include recognizing the importance of:
  • planning and investing in bandwidth and wireless connectivity to power educational technology
  • providing ongoing professional development opportunities that equip educators to effectively integrate digital learning and employ new instructional approaches
  • restructuring the traditional classroom to personalize learning
  • developing creative strategies by connecting with stakeholders outside of the district, and 
  • using data systematically to improve learning and instruction.
The research team conducted interviews with 13 stakeholders across five school districts spanning diverse geographic regions throughout the country, including Elizabeth Forward School District in Pennsylvania; Lewisville Independent School District in Texas; Mobile County Public School System in Alabama; San Jose Unified School District in California; and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District in Wisconsin.