Trends: Scaling Postsecondary Tech Success

Here’s a bit of good news on the innovation in education front: Today, Next Generation Learning Challenges announced grants to help and expand innovative technology-enabled approaches that improve U.S. college completion rates. Of 600+ applicants, 29 organizations get $10.6 million (individual grants range from $180,000 to $750,000). Extra credit: an additional $5.4 million may be awarded to some of the most promising projects after the 15-month grant period concludes. “Through this first wave of grantees, we have identified a set of extremely promising technology-enabled solutions that I hope will help lead to improved education outcomes for all students,” said Ira Fuchs, executive director of Next Generation Learning Challenges. “These programs represent a diverse range of approaches and show how the postsecondary system is adapting to give students the tools they need to achieve educational success,” he says.

Each recipient demonstrated potential to expand its technology-enabled solution to help students succeed in higher education through one or more of these four key approaches:

  • Blended Learning Models
  • combining face-to-face instruction with online learning activities

  • Deeper Learning and Engagement Applications
  • including digital games, interactive video, immersive simulations, and social media

  • High-Quality Open Core Courseware
  • particularly for high-enrollment introductory classes like math, science, and English (these often have low rates of student success)

  • Learner Analytics
  • these monitor student progress in real-time; they customize student support and interventions when and where needed.

Next Generation Learning Challenges conducts evaluations and evidence of impact, then shares the results to inspire the rest of us in education and technology and to encourage promising technology-enabled learning approaches.

Have a look at who the grant recipients are and what they’re up to:


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