Hint: Less than a latte.
Cool story here about how the Chilean government aims to make university free. Money (literally) quote:
“In March 2016 we will start with free higher education now that we have the resources,” said Rodrigo Peñailillo, Chile's Minister of Interior in early December following approval of a corporate tax hike that will generate $8.2 billion in new revenue."
Chile has had other smart initiatives, including Start-Up Chile, which has been giving startups funding since 2010 ($35K most recently) and a year-long visa to do business in Chile. In mid-April, the government announced its most recent cohort of companies--90 in all--chosen from 1,600 applications. (And yes, quite a few have been edtech companies.) Check out all the recently selected companies here.
Time to start checking out those flights to Santiago!
GET CONNECTED: Schools are moving one step closer to providing all US students with access to broadband. In the 2015-2016 school year, a record $3.9 billion will be awarded to schools and libraries through the federal E-rate program.
In December, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved an increase of the E-rate budget from $2.3 billion to its current limit of $3.9 billion. And the increase comes without additional cost to taxpayers, as was projected: instead, the additional funding will come from “fiscal and programmatic reforms that freed up more than $1.5 billion for Wi-Fi,” writes FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a blog post.
PLANNING AHEAD: Learning math and physics through building and racing their own miniature cars? Yeah, we know a few students who’d be into that. (Including us.) But at $200,000, few public school districts can afford the engineering curriculum from Project Lead the Way. At the Sublette County School District in Wyoming, regional energy company QEP Resources is footing the bill. More from NPR on how energy suppliers including QEP Resources and Chevron are investing in the future of STEM—and possibly their future employees.
THE NEXT CLASS: On May 20, co.lab announced the latest round of companies for its accelerator. Co-founded by Zynga and the NewSchools Venture Fund, co.lab has graduated 19 educational game startups so far, including Edmodo, Motion Math, and Kiko Labs. The lucky six in the fourth cohort are:
- Pixel Press, a “build your own video game” platform which integrates physical and digital play
- Codespark, whose product The Foos builds games for kids 5+ around computer science
- Lab4U, a platform enabling hands-on lab experiences for web and mobile devices
- LearnFresh, the developer of NBA Math Hoops, a basketball board game and mobile app teaching math skills through the statistics of NBA and WNBA players
- Story Toys, which develops interactive books and games
- Nearpod, a mobile learning platform
With participation in the accelerator, the six companies will each receive $50K in funding, as well as advising from mentors at co.lab and Zynga, and access to demo in schools.
DISRUPTIONS AND DISTRACTIONS: Despite the proliferation of edtech apps for every device, it seems students—especially low-income students—perform better on standardized tests with limited access to technology in the classroom. According to a study from the London School of Economics, students attending schools with cell phone bans had a 2% higher rate of passing their GCSE exams—so the no-phone rule helped them as much as an extra hour of instruction every week. According to the study, which compiled exam results from 130,000 students at 91 schools since 2001, the positive impact of the ban was twice as effective for students who had previously scored in the bottom 60% or were eligible for free or reduced lunch, suggested that “restricting mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities.” More from The Guardian.