College & Careers

Zoom In: Free Online Tool

18 lessons foster literacy skills in history class

EDC’s free, online Zoom In social studies resource helps students build literacy and historical thinking skills through “deep dives” into primary and secondary sources. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the tool’s 18 engaging lessons focus on key events in six National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) historical periods and support students’ close reading and evidence-based writing.

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Supporting STEM Success

Explore our new and ongoing STEM education initiatives

EDC helps educators foster the next generation of STEM innovators. Our STEM instructional designers, researchers, professional developers, and systems change specialists are advancing the field’s knowledge of effective STEM education, from preschool through college and in out-of-school time programs as well as schools.

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Promoting Data Literacy

Learn about the work of EDC's Oceans of Data Institute

Complex data is all around us—online, in the news, and under our noses each day. EDC's Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) is dedicated to transforming education to help people succeed in school, work, and life in a data-intensive world. Data literacy is not just essential to success in STEM and many other careers. It is key to making wise decisions to improve the well-being of communities, the country, and the world.

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Brandon Foster

Email Brandon Foster

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Brandon Foster

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Brandon Foster has extensive experience in quantitative research methodologies, which he uses to advance knowledge of high-priority issues in educational policy. He brings expertise working within statistical paradigms such as structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, mixture models, Bayesian inference, measurement theory, and econometrics. His areas of specialization include school readiness, culturally relevant measures for educational research, career and college readiness, and building researcher/practitioner partnerships centered on student data initiatives.

Foster brings his methodological expertise to two initiatives: REL Northeast & Islands at EDC and a study looking at the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement in Advanced Placement (AP) science courses.  

The coauthor of several peer-reviewed publications related to early childhood education, Foster has helped validate peer-reviewed measures of Latino family engagement in their children’s educational experiences. He has presented his work at the National Head Start Conference and the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, among others, and is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research and Language and Communication.

Before joining EDC, Foster was a doctoral intern in psychometrics at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he assisted in the psychometric design and validation of measures focused on college and career readiness initiatives, and led several student-outcome studies. During his time at Tufts University he served as the lead doctoral student for a researcher-practitioner partnership project focused on developing a city-wide integrated data system for measuring student achievement in Somerville, Massachusetts.  He also developed several lines of research pertaining to children’s approaches to learning using the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), assisted in constructing a preschool science curriculum, and psychometrically validated measures of Latino family engagement.

Foster received a BA in psychology from the University of Southern Maine. He holds an MA in child study and human development from Tufts University, where he is currently working to complete his PhD.   


Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Research Associate II


Research, Evaluation, and Policy

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Visualizing Oceans of Data: Ocean Tracks - A Case Study

Thu, 12/31/2015


In 2013, EDC's Oceans of Data Institute team published Visualizing Oceans of Data, which communicated the findings of a two-year NSF-funded study (Ocean Tracks) that gathered knowledge relevant to the design of educational interfaces to large online scientific data sets. Because the online availability of large scientific data sets is still a relatively recent and rapidly growing phenomenon, the authors knew there was still much to learn and report on.

This case study features the guidelines that emerged as the most relevant and important to engaging students with the Ocean Tracks data and curriculum


47 pp.

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A New Model in Math Education

This news item spotlights a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded partnership among EDC, Boston College, Boston University, and Math for America Boston that is preparing exemplary math teachers to work in high-need school districts in the Boston area: "Veteran Brighton High School math teacher Chloe Ford said the program workshops give her the chance to develop new lessons and find solutions to issues ranging from curriculum development to helping students cope with math anxiety. There’s also a welcome emphasis on working through tough math problems. 'I like the emphasis on doing math,' said Ford. 'It gives us teachers opportunities to do challenging math problem solving and remember what it is like to be students. In this process we get a chance to collaborate with each other and discuss applications of problem solving within the classroom.'"


BC News

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Mon, 02/29/2016

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Blended Instruction Report and Executive Summary

Wed, 04/01/2015


EDUCATION Connection and Education Development Center, Inc.

In this report and executive summary, the authors present findings from a study of the STEM21 (Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering for the 21st Century) Academy blended instruction model. Today, although more and more schools are adopting blended learning approaches—combining online instruction with in-person learning activities—very few studies have investigated the impact of the approaches on K-12 students' achievement.

Key factors in effective blended learning for K-12 students


32 pp

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Adobe Youth Voices App

Tue, 02/02/2016


Wendy Rivenburgh, with contributions from Tony Streit, Kate Goddard, and Adobe Foundation staff

Developed for Adobe by EDC, the AYV Story app provides a close-up view of the experiences of the youth media makers and educators who participated in the Adobe Foundation’s Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) initiative. Throughout AYV’s nine-year history,  EDC provided a range of support—including training design, community management, and materials development—to achieve Adobe’s vision to increase creativity in education and equip 13- to 19-year-old youth media makers to create social change through the power of digital storytelling.

Adobe Youth Voices youth media making

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MassCAN Strategic Plan 2015–2018

Thu, 12/31/2015


Steve Vinter, Jim Stanton, Tripp Jones

The Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN), founded in 2013, is a public-private coalition of education, industry, nonprofit, and academic partners who share a common interest in transforming computer science education. MassCAN works to create and offer the highest quality K–12 computer science education to every student in the state. This strategic plan covers the coalition from 2015 through 2018.

computer science education


31 pp.

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