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Faculty & Research

Christopher Dede

Senior Research Fellow

Christopher Dede

Degree:  Ed.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, (1972)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.495.3839
Vitae/CV:   Christopher Dede.pdf
Office:  Longfellow 414
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Member
Faculty Coordinator:  Claire Goggin


Prior to becoming a Senior Research Fellow, for 22 years Chris Dede was the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies. His fundamental interest is developing new types of educational systems to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. His research spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, developing policies that support educational transformation, and providing leadership in educational innovation. Currently, Dede is a Co-Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded National Artificial Intelligence Institute in Adult Learning and Online Education. He co-founded the Silver Lining for Learning initiative and developed a widely used Framework for scaling up educational innovations. From 2001 to 2004, he served as chair of the Learning & Teaching program at HGSE. Dede is an advisor to the digital puppeteering company Mursion, Inc., in which he has an equity stake.

Click here to see a full list of Chris Dede's courses.

Areas of Expertise

Professor Dede’s current research focuses on three areas: emerging technologies for learning and assessment, leadership in educational technology implementation, and effective policy for educational technology utilization. His research in emerging technologies includes funded projects on multi-user virtual environments, augmented realities, transformed social interaction, and online professional development. His research on leadership focuses on issues of scaling up innovations from local to widespread use, and his work in policy centers on state and national level educational improvement strategies.


Named as one of “the top 25 edtech innovations and innovators of the past 25 years” by the Consortium for School Networking,(2017)

Outstanding Contributions to Research in Immersive Learning Award, American Educational Research Association,(2017)

Center for Digital Education Award in “Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers”,(2016)

Noted by Tech and Learning journal as one of the most “influential people affecting the advancement of technology in education”,(2013)

Award from Association for Teacher Educators for "outstanding leadership and dedication to the education profession",(2012)

National Environmental Education Week Green STEM Innovators Award,(2012)

Association for Educational Communications and Technology Distinguished Development Award,(2011)

Association for Educational Communications and Technology Immersive Learning Award, Interactive Category,(2011)

Fellow of the American Educational Research Association,(2011)

Special Achievement Award, Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education,(2010)

Certificate of Special Recognition, Consortium for School Networking,(2009)

The Friday Medal, North Carolina State University,(2009)

Twice received the Outstanding Reviewer Award, Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Association,(2008)

Honored by Harvard University as an Outstanding Teacher,(2007)

National Service Award, National University Telecommunications Network,(2007)

Timothy E. Wirth Professorship in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education,(2000)

Sponsored Projects


AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education (ALOE) (2021-2026)
Georgia Research Alliance

We intend to create and use AI technology and systems for making education simultaneously more accessible, affordable, efficient, and effective. We will do so by developing and deployingAI techniques that combine a variety of virtual learning assistants ranging from question answering to question asking, from virtual librarians to virtual laboratories. These virtual agentswill be informed by large-scale, fine-grained learning analytics. We will use human-centered design to create socio-technical systems in which teachers, learners and virtual learningassistants live, work and learn together. We will support lifetime education from K-12, through college including community and technical colleges, through the whole life of US workers. Wewill specifically focus on STEM education, including both formal and informal learning. We will emphasize teacher preparation, broadening participation, and sustained and continuous programevaluation. We will use open educational resources and online education as the two primary vehicles for reaching at least a million learners a year by the end of this five-year program.Dr. Dede at the Harvard Graduate School of Education will serve as Principal Investigator, drawing on his research experience in the design and development of immersive STEMcurricula, artificial intelligence (AI), and workforce development. He will provide leadership in design, implementation, and research phases of the project, including the strands on virtuallearning assistants, virtual teaching assistants, data repositories, learning analytics, AI tools for teachers, teachable virtual assistants, and AI-augmented socio-technical systems.


Improving Early Literacy at Scale through Personalized Diagnosis and Intervention (2018-2022)
Chan- Zuckerberg Foundation

“Personalized learning” is an emerging movement in education, generating both optimism and skepticism in the field. We are optimistic because of the enormous possibilities implicit in helping every learner reach his or her full potential by leveraging advances in technology, but we also recognize challenges to large-scale change due to the thin evidence base and constraining policy and practice environments. We share with many in education a deep commitment to the principles of equity and excellence motivating much of the move to personalized learning.Building on a joint planning process begun in January 2017, the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and MIT are pleased to submit this proposal for a $30 million joint initiative to improve early literacy through personalized diagnosis and intervention. Because we believe that personalized learning will take root and expand only if it can make demonstrable progress in addressing pressing education challenges, we will focus on applying principles of personalization toward the goal that all children achieve mastery of foundational literacy skills by the end of third grade.


Dede, C., Richards, J., & Saxberg, B. (Eds.). (2019). Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples. New York: Routledge.

Dede, C. (2018). The 60 Year Curriculum: Developing new educational models to support the agile labor market. Evolllution October 19, 2018

Liu, D., Dede, C., Huang, R., & Richards, J. (Eds.). (2017). Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality in education. Hong Kong: Springer.

Dede. C., Ho, A., & Mitros. P. (2016) Big Data analysis in higher education: Promises and pitfalls. EDUCAUSE Review, 51, 5 (September/October 2016), 22-34.

Dede, C., Eisenkraft, A., Frumin, K., & Hartley, A. (Eds). (2016). Teacher learning in the digital age: Online professional development in STEM education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard

Fishman, B., & Dede, C. (in press). Teaching and technology: New tools for new times. In D. Gitomer & C. Bell (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching, 5th Edition (American Educational Research Association). New York, NY: Springer.

Dede, C. (2014). The role of digital technologies in deeper learning. New York, NY: Jobs for the Future.

Dede, C., & Richards, J. (Eds.). (2012). Digital teaching platforms: Customizing classroom learning for each student. New York: Teacher’s College Press.


MITx Press Editorial Board,(2013-present)

Consulting Editor, Educational Technology Research and Develpment,(2010-present)

Editorial Board, Educational Researcher,(2000-present)

Editorial Board, Journal of Science Education and Technology,(2000-present)

Review Board, Journal of the Learning Sciences,(1998-present)

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