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New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyberlearning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before. The cyberlearning movement advances learning of important content by:

  • Applying scientific insights about how people learn
  • Leveraging emerging technologies
  • Designing transformative learning activities
  • Engaging teachers and other practitioners
  • Measuring deeper learning outcomes
  • Emphasizing continuous improvement

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Sample projects that illustrate how cyberlearning helps students use innovative technology to learn in new ways. See more project spotlights and 3-minute videos about cyberlearning projects featured in the NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase.

High school students see science concepts in action through mixed reality technologies that augment hands-on laboratory activities with sensor-driven computer simulations—approximating experiences in research labs with advanced nanotechnology instruments.

With a head-mounted display, deaf children can see sign language even when their head is turned away from the signer, allowing them to “hear” explanations and see scientific phenomena at the same time.

In an afterschool program, youth in predominantly African American and Hispanic communities in Chicago learn computational design and programming through designing wearable computing.

Virtual biology labs used on about a fifth of the campuses in North America provide immediate feedback on open- ended higher order thinking skill tasks to enhance learning of the experimental process in biology.

The cyberlearning community includes people from a variety of disciplines working together to design and develop innovative learning technologies that deeply relate to, and inform our understanding of, the processes of learning. Read more perspectives by community members about what drives their work.



At its best, cyberlearning is grounded in research and theories on how people learn, often referred to the learning sciences. Learning science is a field of scientific research that developed in the 1980s, from influences that include cognitive science, computer science, information processing psychology, child development, anthropology, and linguistics. The International Society of the Learning Sciences hosts conferences, organizes journals and provide ongoing forums which bring learning scientists together, worldwide.

While traditional educational research focuses primarily on students’ test scores or attainment of credentials, learning scientists are often concerned with knowledge, skills, and abilities that are not yet measured well by commonplace test scores nor yet signified by established credentials — for example, their knowledge of an emerging scientific topic like nanoscience, their skills in participating in a scientific discussion, or their ability to work with others to build knowledge. Learning science is willing to be future-directed, imaginative and risky — to explore how learners could develop in ways that are clearly valuable, but presently hard to learn. Read more about the learning sciences.