Bill Tally

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Bill Tally
Managing Project Director

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014



Bill Tally leads education R&D initiatives that advance the field's knowledge of how the strategic use of digital tools can make learning more rigorous, meaningful, and engaging. He brings deep expertise in interdisciplinary learning, the digital humanities, formative research, historical studies, and the sociology of education—as well as experience configuring digital archives to enable students, teachers, and the public to do authentic historical inquiry.

Tally is the principal investigator of Zoom In! Teaching Science with Data, an initiative to build high school students’ skills in using data to investigate significant problems in biology and earth science. This initiative draws upon EDC’s Zoom In, an online instructional platform named a 2016 Best Website for Teaching and Learning that Tally led the design and development of with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Tally is also leading an EDC team that is serving as the primary research collaborator for the Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources program. On an ongoing basis, he conducts evaluations that help program developers assess and refine a wide array of initiatives focused on social studies, digital media resources, digital games and storytelling, the needs of diverse learners, and teacher professional development (view a full project list).

Recently, Tally headed up an effort to support the New York Philharmonic in expanding the reach of their Young People's Concerts, by developing an interactive website, Young People's Concerts Play! As co-Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded eTG project, he collaborated on the design and testing of a prototype electronic teacher’s guide that helps teachers with varying knowledge and skills plan and teach a genetics curriculum, reflect on its execution, and enhance instruction.

Tally’s clients and partners have included the Library of Congress, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The New York Times, National Geographic, WNET, City University of New York, the Smithsonian Institution, MIT, Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Chicago History Museum, and Bank Street College of Education.  

He presents his research at the conferences of organizations such as the American Educational Research Association (“The Technology Literacy Inventory: Assessing Teacher Candidates’ Readiness to Teach All Students”) and the International Society for Technology in Education (“Using Historical RPGs to Teach History Content and Critical Thinking Skills”).

Tally co-authored the book The New Media Literacy Handbook: An Educator’s Guide to Bringing New Media into the Classroom. He has also published on the use of digitized primary sources to foster historical thinking (Journal of Research on Technology in Education); the role of digital tools in enlivening social studies learning and teaching (Theory and Research in Social Education); and how history games can help engage students in historical thinking (National Historic Education Clearinghouse).

He received a BA in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MA in liberal studies from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research (with an emphasis on American cultural history). He holds a PhD in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where his dissertation examined children’s and parents’ use of the Web in low- and middle-income homes.