Our work: Digital Learning

New ways for technology to support learning

The vision for the Digital Learning Initiative is that all learners have access to rich digital experiences that empower knowledge, growth, connection, and opportunity. We seek to ignite discoveries on how distinct individuals learn best virtually, enable designs that promote deep learning in a digital context, and develop pathways to scale.

The Challenge

Throughout the digital revolution, there has been a sustained conviction that technology can offer fundamentally new ways of learning, increase personalization, and greatly expand access to top quality curriculum. Yet digital learning keeps letting us down. During the early parts of the pandemic, for example, it was clear that current educational technologies have not fulfilled their potential.

Computer-aided instruction – largely designed to support the learning of right and wrong answers – does not currently leverage all that we now know about how people learn and retain information (the science of learning). As such, it does not compensate for the unique attributes of in-person education that research shows influence learning outcomes: the physical, social, and cultural contexts of learning. Rich learning experiences go beyond academics and help people learn about their identity, mindsets, decision-making and much more. These skills create independent, self-motivated learners who are prepared to continue learning in the future. These must be addressed for digital learning to achieve its full potential.

Faculty Directors

Headshot of Dan Schwartz

Dan Schwartz

The Halper Family Faculty Director, Stanford Accelerator for Learning and Faculty Director, Digital Learning Initiative

Headshot of Kristen Pilner Blair

Kristen Pilner Blair

Director of Research, Digital Learning Initiative


Link to Learn more

Virtual Field Trips

Digital field trips offer unique affordances to expand access to locales, capture sense of place, and foreground agency within an experiential learning environment. The Virtual Field Trips program develops tools and learner-centered frameworks to create and co-experience navigable worlds via immersive, 360-degree photos and videos.

Faculty leads

Dan Schwartz

The Halper Family Faculty Director, Stanford Accelerator for Learning and Faculty Director, Digital Learning Initiative

Bryan Brown

Professor, Graduate School of Education

Learn more →
Link to Learn more

AI + Education

How can artificial intelligence enhance learning and support those in teaching roles? The Stanford Accelerator for Learning explores the possibilities and pitfalls through this interdisciplinary project on AI in education.

Faculty lead

Victor Lee

Associate Professor

Learn more →