Welcome to Talking About Digital Media and Learning – a compendium of framing research and application tools on how Americans think about the role of digital media in education. This toolkit helps advocates and experts increase public support for educational initiatives to make learning relevant, foster critical thinking skills, and empower students, both in and outside of the classroom.

A decade of FrameWorks’ research demonstrates that effective communications can help activate the public’s thinking and engagement with issues as complex as American education and digital learning. Below, we provide research findings from several multi-method studies, as well as application guides and resources, to front-line communicators for deploying recommended framing strategies to shift the public conversation about digital media and learning.

This toolkit is complemented by an ongoing project to develop a Core Story of Education, based on research of public attitudes on skills, testing, and learning. To access these additional materials, please visit the FrameWorks Institute’s website issue page on Education.

The following research and framing tools were developed by the FrameWorks Institute for The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Digital Media and Learning Initiative.

Message Memo

Research Reports

Trigger Videos

Pictures in Their Heads: Digital Media and Learning
This 12-minute video will take you through findings from cultural models interviews FrameWorks conducted with everyday Americans to find out how they think and talk about digital media, learning, and how the two are related.

Trigger Video
This short flash presentation provides a quick overview of the research findings, drawing from on-the-street interviews and interactive group discussion to demonstrate the challenges communicators face, and the power of the reframing tools for DML.


This section provides a variety of framing tools intended to help advocates understand and apply the research findings and recommendations on how to talk about digital media and learning.

Key Framing Guides