Bill Tally



Bill Tally, PhD, investigates the educational uses of digital media in schools, libraries, museums, and communities. He is especially interested in understanding how the strategic use of digital tools can make social studies and humanities learning rigorous, meaningful, and engaging.

Tally’s work is distinguished by a focus on applied research and collaboration with teachers, media designers, and content experts. Drawing on his background in research, he has led ambitious efforts to develop digital tools, such as Zoom In, that support teaching and learning in multiple disciplines. Tally has also conducted formative and summative evaluations that help program developers assess and refine a wide array of initiatives focused on digital games and storytelling, the needs of diverse learners, and teacher professional development. He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues of media, children, and learning.

Tally holds a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York.

“Social studies teachers still need lots of support in learning how to act on the new standards and combine the traditional demands of content mastery with a greater focus on literacy skills.”

Speaking Highlights

Getting Adolescents to Argue (In the History Classroom)

94th Annual National Council for the Social Studies Conference
Boston, MA
November 2014

Using Historical RPGs to Teach History Content and Critical Thinking Skills

International Society for Technology in Education Annual Conference
San Diego, CA
June 2012



Zooming In on History and Literacy
EDC, June 23, 2015

Selected Publications

Tally, B., & Goldenberg, L. (2010). Fostering historical thinking with digitized primary sources. In L. Schrum (Ed), Considerations on technology and teachers: The Best of JRTE. New York, NY: ISTE.

Tally, B. (2007, Spring). Digital technology and the end of social studies education. Theory and Research in Social Education, 35(2), 305–321.

Brunner, C., & Tally, W. (1999). The new media literacy handbook: An educator's guide to bringing new media into the classroom. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Selected Resources


Zoom In is a free, research-based online tool that helps students learn U.S. history while strengthening their literacy skills.