CZI Awards $1.6 Million to Bring More Teacher Voice to Edtech Purchasing...

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CZI Awards $1.6 Million to Bring More Teacher Voice to Edtech Purchasing Decisions

Apr 2, 2019

MONEY WHERE THE MOUTH IS: The following statement has been repeated so often among the edtech community that it almost sounds like a broken record: Educators should have more say in decisions around purchasing and implementing education technology.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) wants to turn that refrain into a reality. And this week, it is putting money where its mouth is, by way of a two-year, $1.6 million grant it has awarded to the Jefferson Education Exchange (JEX), a nonprofit based out of the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.

The funding will support JEX’s efforts to “launch an initiative to expand the role of educators in helping shape the national education research agenda,” according to a statement from CZI. That work will include facilitating meetings with educators and creating an “EdTech Implementation Framework” to guide how school leaders and teachers select, buy and use edtech products. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences is a partner in those efforts.

The grant supports an ongoing effort by JEX, beginning last fall, to go on “listening tours” to solicit educators’ input on how education research can be made more accessible, comprehensible and actionable. According to The 74, about 6,000 U.S. teachers will partake in JEX’s forthcoming research efforts, and the grant will go towards paying them each “roughly $25 to $50 per hour.”

This latest support from CZI is just a sliver of more than $100 million in education grant funding that the organization has disbursed since 2018—a figure first noted by Chalkbeat. (Disclosure: EdSurge has also received grant funding from CZI.)

 

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