Teachers and technology

Blended learning. Flipped classrooms. Virtual schools. Today, technology is a ubiquitous presence in schools and classrooms throughout Rhode Island.

How did we get to where we are today? The effort began more than fifteen years ago with a program called the Rhode Island Teachers and Technology Initiative, or RITTI.

In 1997, on the occasion of our 80th anniversary, the Foundation led a four year, $5 million effort to bring laptop computers and training to approximately 3,000 public school teachers in Rhode Island. Working in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, the University of Rhode Island, the state’s teachers unions, the Office of the Governor, the General Assembly. and businesses including Microsoft and Bell Atlantic, this initiative was an early and ambitious effort to bring the potential value of personal computing to bear on teaching and learning in approximately one quarter of all of Rhode Island’s classrooms.

The program underwent a formal evaluation by the Center for Children and Technology at the Education Development Center. They found that RITTI was successful in increasing teachers’ confidence with and ability to use a variety of software applications and resources. In fact, the percentage of teachers who reported comfort with using email and the Internet rose from just 43% prior to engaging in the program to 99% by the end of the 1998-1999 school year!

We are proud to have played a leading role in recognizing the enormous potential of technological integration in the classroom. And while many of today’s teachers and students arrive at school fluent in digital literacy, we are proud to continue supporting efforts designed to advance student learning through new and innovative methods of student engagement.


One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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