Building the Technology Ecosystem for Correctional Education: Brief and Discussion Guide

This resource explores the technical, instructional, and other components necessary for expanding the use of technology in correctional education programs.

Jordan Hudson
Laura Rasmussen Foster
Michelle Tolbert
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
RTI International
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages

This resource is designed to help education and corrections leaders understand key issues in adopting and integrating technology to support instruction in jails and prisons. It describes the components of a state correctional education technology ecosystem (the who, what, why, and how of technology use), profiles four state ecosystems, and provides a discussion guide for exploring the policy and technical components needed to further expand the use of technology in correctional education programs.

Benefits and Uses

This resource is an update to Educational Technology in Corrections 2015, which described how correctional facilities provide access to technology for education programs. With the acceleration of technology use due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reinstatement of Pell Grants, and other legislation, this updated brief and discussion guide focuses on technology access and use in correctional education (e.g., adult education, career and technical education, and postsecondary education). It illustrates how technology use should be student-centered and aligned to instructional goals. The final section, the Discussion Guide, provides a tool for guiding state-level conversations about the policy and technical components needed to develop a state correctional education technology ecosystem. Corrections and education leaders can use this resource to understand the technical and other components necessary to further expand the use of technology in correctional education programs. For example, they also can use it to answer questions related to device selection/maintenance, funding, security, staffing and teacher development, student preparation, teaching and learning, and vendor selection.


Required Training

Prior training is not required for this resource. 

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