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Project RED: The Research

In 2010, Project RED conducted the first large-scale national study to identify and prioritize the factors that make some U.S. K-12 technology implementations perform dramatically better than others.

Scope and Method

Our research project had unprecedented scope, breadth, and depth:

  • 997 schools, representative of the U.S. school universe, and 49 states and the District of Columbia
  • 11 diverse education success measures
  • 22 categories of independent variables, with many subcategories
  • Comparison of findings by student-computer ratios (1:1, 2:1, 3:1, etc.)
  • Comprehensive demographic data correlated to survey results

Given the array of factors and variables, a variety of analysis techniques were required, including regression analysis, principal component analysis, and predictive modeling. The survey was augmented by interviews and additional information, generously provided by school and district administrators.


The goals of the survey led to three hypotheses that were tested by Project RED:

  • Properly implemented educational technology can substantially improve student achievement.
  • Properly implemented educational technology can be revenue- positive at all levels—federal, state, and local.
  • Continuous access to a computing device for every student leads to increased academic achievement and financial benefits, especially when technology is properly implemented.

The Project RED survey analyses support these hypotheses. The insights gained through the study should prove valuable to any school planning to implement ubiquitous technology.

The Findings

Our findings demonstrate that schools employing a 1:1 student-computer ratio and key implementation factors outperform other schools, and reveal significant opportunities for improving education return on investment (ROI) by transforming teaching and learning.

An analysis of the Project RED data revealed seven major findings of interest to schools embarking on or already administering a technology implementation. Attention to these findings can help schools achieve a higher degree of success.


Click any of the keys for a full description of the finding.

Nine key implementation factors are linked most strongly to education.

Properly implemented technology saves money.

1:1 schools employing key implementation factors outperform all schools and all other 1:1 schools.

The principal’s ability to lead change is critical. Change must be modeled and championed at the principal level.

Technology-transformed intervention improves learning.

Online collaboration increases learning productivity and student engagement.

Daily use of technology delivers the best return on investment (ROI).