Google.org pledges $50 million to fill education gaps

 

Alliance magazine

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Google.org recently pledged $50 million to education nonprofits over the next two years to develop technology that will improve education in developing countries.

According to Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Google.org’s education lead, 130 million primary school students around the world are not mastering basic math and reading skills, while 221 million are being taught in a language foreign to them. This is due to under resourced teachers, lack of access to materials, and barriers that inhibit children from learning outside of the classroom.

In an effort to close these education gaps, Google.org has committed over $110 million in the past five years. Its latest commitment will go to education nonprofits in 20 countries who use technology to help give students access to quality materials, keep teachers trained and engaged, and help students learn in conflict zones.

In the first round of funding, Google.org has announced nine grantees, including Million Sparks Foundation, which plans to use the new funds to create a digital content platform, ChalkLit. The platform is an app that will provide teachers with curriculum aligned content and an online support community.

War Child Holland is another grantee. It will create a game-based curriculum called Can’t Wait to Learn that will allow children displaced by conflict to continue their learning in an informal setting.

Another grantee, Learning Equality, builds open source software to provide online education materials to 4.3 billion people who lack consistent access to the internet. The foundation will use the grant to expand its content library in an effort to reach more students.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice, Pratham Education Foundation, and Khan Academy were also awarded grants in this round of funding. Google will also be supporting the nine foundations with volunteers who are experts in areas such as data analytics, translation, offline functionality, and user experience. The foundation expects to announce additional grant recipients later this year.

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