According to a report from Google.org, the search giant’s philanthropic arm, 74 percent of students globally have little or no internet connectivity, 221 million students in schools are being taught in a language that is foreign to them and 32 million primary school-aged children can’t even reach traditional classrooms because of violent conflict and displacement.
Now, Google.org is donating a $50 million block of grant money to education tech nonprofits striving to create equal access to education around the world. The money, and in-kind services from Google, will support organizations working to bring quality educational materials and teacher training to students in developing nations, and to help students in crisis maintain their education.
Besides the cash donations, Google will provide to these organizations expertise in the areas of translation and transliteration, user experience design, building offline functionality, data analytics and more. Google.org’s global education portfolio lead, Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, wrote in a blog post announcing the grants, “We believe every student deserves access to a quality education. We also believe that technology can play a vital role in creating richer learning environments, but only if all teachers and learners can equally benefit from it.”
A list of the grantees follows below, with descriptions provided by the companies and Google.org (edited for length).
War Child Holland ($2 million grant): Providing an educational game based on local curriculum standards, War Child Holland’s platform “Can’t Wait to Learn” allows children affected by conflict to keep learning even when they do not have access to teachers and schools.
Khan Academy ($5 million grant): Making high-quality, free courses available online for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy now offers courses from pre-K through test prep for medical and law school applicants.
Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver ($3.6 million grant): Publishing stories and books in different languages under a creative commons license so they can be used by any student or school, anywhere, for free.
Pratham Education Foundation, Hybrid Learning Program ($3.1 million): Giving kids self-driven, offline lessons to learn in any environment by organizing them into groups in their village that decide together what content they’d like to learn.
Million Sparks Foundation ($1.2 million grant): Connecting teachers to share knowledge and training online.
Clooney Foundation for Justice ($1 million): Bringing Syrian refugee children in Lebanon a chance to go back to school.