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Educational technology has the capacity to empower Americans, of all ages and backgrounds, living in rural America or urban America, to become true lifelong learners, enabling them to obtain, keep, and create the jobs of the future... 
-Winning the Education Future: The Role of ARPA-ED (March 2011)

TIER-ED is a community of interdisciplinary researchers and designers at Illinois developing cutting-edge applications of new technologies to critical issues in education and learning across the lifespan. The initiative is based in the College of Education, but it draws on expertise from across the University of Illinois in designing, developing, and assessing these technologies. The TIER-ED initiative was funded by the University of Illinois as a strategic growth area; initiative activities began in October 2017 and are developing rapidly‚Äč.

We seek innovative solutions that  

  • facilitate cognitive and emotional engagement across academic disciplines
  • addresses issues of equity and access for diverse learners
  • prepare teachers to work effectively in an emerging landscape of digital tools

Our research and design platforms include

  • augmented and virtual reality environments that enable new ways to interact with learning content
  • data analytics methods that allow for personalizing learning environments and understanding issues of access and equity
  • multi-touch and other interfaces that support collaborative learning
  • online learning platforms that transform the way that students interact with others and receive feedback from the instructor

Core activities of the TIER-ED initiative are

  1. building the University's capacity for conducting large-scale interdisciplinary research and design around new technologies in education
  2. increasing the pipeline of students into academic programs that prepare them to use, design, and research these learning technologies
  3. cultivate industry partnerships that lead to investments in Illinois students and faculty who are developing and assessing educational innovations