Bill Tally

managing project director
tel: (212) 807-4206
fax: (212) 633-8804

Bill Tally leads education Research and Development that deepens understanding 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 project director of Zoom In, a free, research-based online tool that helps students learn U.S. history—lessons cover six National Assessment of Educational Progress historical periods—while building literacy skills such as close reading, writing, and arguing with evidence. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Zoom In includes extensive embedded professional development for teachers and addresses a currently unmet need for instructional resources that enhance social studies instruction and advance the goals of the Common Core. 

Recently, as co-Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded eTG project, Tally 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. On an ongoing basis, he leads teams in conducting formative and summative 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. 

Clients and partners of the CCT projects to which Tally has contributed include 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.  

Tally presents 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 also has 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).

Bill received a BA in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MA in liberal studies (with an emphasis on American cultural history) from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. 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.