Centre for Educational Research and Innovation - CERI

Smart data and digital technology in education: Learning Analytics, AI and Beyond


Project Motivation           

Digitalisation is one of the most significant ongoing trends of our societies, impacting almost every aspect of the economy and society. Digitalisation is an increasingly significant trend, impacting:

  • the increasing use of digital devices and technologies in education.
  • the increasing production of data (from the use of these digital devices).
  • the increasing use of the produced data to improve, understand, and personalise the learning process, and more generally, various aspects of the educational operation.
Smart data and digital technology in education project picture


NEW BOOKOECD Digital Education Outlook 2021. Pushing the frontiers with AI, blockchain, and robots. 



 book cover



The project includes three interrelated strands: 

  1. Technology frontiers of digitalisation: What are the most promising models of digital technology and data use in education? How can digitalisation lead to transformations in education?

    Current frontiers of digitalisation
  2. Foresight: What are different options of using smart technologies in school and higher education? What forms of governing smart technologies and digitalisation can we envision in the medium term?

  3. Policy implications: How do, or could, countries address the policy, regulatory and cultural challenges associated with digitalisation to reap the benefits of a smart use of data and digital devices? What are the new challenges they should put on their policy agenda?

Main Deliverables

  • A series of international seminars
  • A set of future scenarios for strategic thinking
  • An international reports including:
    • Medium-term frontiers and futures scenarios
    • Identification of risks and policy challenges
    • Examples of promising practices

Focus Areas

  • Smart uses of digital devices or software for enhancing learning inside and outside the classroom.
  • Smart uses of data produced or collected in formal education settings for the personalisation of learning and for improving decision-making and policies in education (learning analytics based on instructional and administrative education data, research and evaluation, policy design).
  • Personalisation of learning and improvement of AI-based decision-making and policies in education. 
  • Learning analytics based on big data:  new uses of personal data gathered through Internet navigation, social networks, and networked devices and sensors for personalising and improving people’s educational experience and outcomes.


  • Desk research and commissioning of papers on main trends and dimensions of digitalisation in education, such as Learning Analytics, Machine Learning, Adaptive Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain, Big Data, Data Capture etc.
  • Stakeholder dialogue with policymakers, practitioners, learners, researchers and developers to discuss current and future uses of data and digital devices in education.
  • Future scenario building exercise to contemplate possibilities related to the digitalisation of education as well as foreseeable challenges.
  • Discussion on countries’ regulatory frameworks on education data use and access, and their overall administrative data infrastructure.

COVID-19 Education Continuity Stories

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed how education systems have dealt with school closures and has shifted our understanding of digital education.

In collaboration with Harvard Global Education Innovation Initiative, HundrED, and the World Bank Group Education Global Practice, the team collected and wrote stories from countries around the world about how their education systems were adapting to different student and teacher needs during the coronavirus crisis.

The stories aim to understand the ability of education systems, learners and teachers to use digital technology and resources for learning, teaching and managing the education system during the crisis.







Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, Senior Analyst and Project Leader



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