It appears that students are still top of mind for the two most influential technologists and philanthropists of our time. Last month, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $12 million to code.org. Said Gates: “The role of philanthropy here is not to be the primary funder, but rather to fund pilots, to fund new ideas, to let people — it’s always the educators coming up with the ideas — to let them try them out and see what really works super well and get those to scale.” And in a letter posted last week to, yes, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg detailed the plans of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: “One challenge we’ve seen in education is that there are many brilliant teachers and school leaders who create new kinds of schools based on new models of learning — but those schools usually only serve hundreds of students, while most children still do not have access to them…Our hope is that technology can help with this scaling challenge.”
This sort of big picture impetus is obviously important, but we here at Tech & Learning also like to get in the weeds, which is why our Awards of Excellence program is such a big deal for us (page 16). From laptops and document cameras to sensors, to AV, to curriculum software, to even mobile carts, these educator-tested winners are making real change in real classrooms right now. Want to help us with next year’s program? Shoot me an email and we’ll consider you for the 2018 judging panel. You will get to play with some of the latest and greatest edtech gear and we will benefit from your feedback!
— Kevin Hogan