Wednesday, September 22, 2021

UC Irvine Provides $11 Million Grant to Improve Digital Technologies for Kids

Irvine, California—The University of California-Irvine (UCI) on September 7 announced a nearly $11 million grant from the Zurich-based Jacobs Foundation to build a collaborative network to help prepare digital technologies for children.

The Network Connecting EdTech Research Ecosystem (CERES), will bring together global leaders in computer science, psychology, neuroscience, education and educational technology.

Candice Ozers, UCI’s Professor of Psychological Science, said, “Now more than ever, we need to marshal the brightest minds and the best of science to support children who are growing up in an increasingly digital and unequal age. ” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division.

“We are grateful for the Jacobs Foundation’s many investments in improving children’s lives, and for the opportunity to direct this initiative at UCI,” Oders said.

The digital experience had become a normal part of how children learn, play and socialize well before the COVID-19 pandemic; Then in March 2020, young people around the world were taken out of their classrooms and into online spaces almost overnight to learn and socialize. Now, as school doors begin to reopen and children reconnect with teachers and friends, most people will continue to learn and socialize online.

According to the UCI, young people represent one in three users of the Internet globally, yet online spaces and tools are often not designed to provide the kind of support and opportunities children need to learn.

According to a UCI statement, “CERES will address this issue to reduce growing inequalities in access.” “The network will place children and evidence at the center of the digital equations that are so important in predicting their success. Experts will push scientific boundaries to identify unique opportunities for intervention and improve youth’s learning and future lives. This initiative will also lay a foundation for future researchers working across multiple disciplines in academia and industry.”

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Hayes said the network is “a rare opportunity to make a life-changing impact, contribute to cutting-edge scientific research, and train the next generation of interdisciplinary scholars in this space.”

According to UCI, CERES will be strengthened through a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University; University of California, Berkeley; Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education; Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences; University of Cambridge; University of Washington; and Western University of Canada.

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The Jacobs Foundation has committed more than $545 million to advance education and education around the world over the next 10 years. CERES is one of three educational technology initiatives the foundation hopes will transform children’s fortunes by leveraging new technologies and improving the digital world.

“It needs to play a significant role in how ed-tech products are designed and deployed,” said Simon Sommer, co-CEO of the foundation, founded by entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs and his family in 1989. “The current momentum presents a huge opportunity to influence the direction of the ed-tech industry to become a force for positive change in education.”

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

UC Irvine Provides $11 Million Grant to Improve Digital Technologies for Kids
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