Decoding learning: the proof, promise and potential of digital education


Work data:

Type of work: Report


e-Learning and Instructional Technology


Key findings

  • Schools spent £487 million on ICT equipment and services in 2009-2010. But this investment has not yet resulted in radical improvements to learning experiences or attainment.
  • No technology has an impact on learning on its own right; impact depends on how it is used.
  • Rather than categorising innovations by the type of technology used (eg, do games help learning?), it’s more useful to think about the types of learning activities we know to be effective, such as practising key skills, and exploring how tech can support these activities.
  • We identify eight learning themes that show significant promise of impact when combined with digital technology.

In the last five years UK schools have spent more than £1 billion on digital technology. From interactive whiteboards to tablets, there is more digital technology in schools than ever before. But so far there has been little evidence of substantial success in improving educational outcomes.