NEW YORK, January 24, 2017— PowerMyLearning has received a combined $6.5 million in grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York to support core elements of its strategic national growth plan. This plan will enable PowerMyLearning to pursue important innovations designed to help teachers team up with colleagues and families to personalize learning and support student success. The plan will also enable PowerMyLearning to spread its important work across the country.
“PowerMyLearning addresses a critical problem in education today: our factory model of education is not personalized or rigorous enough, it does not help students develop ownership of their learning, and it excludes families,” says Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder of PowerMyLearning. “Our organization is at a significant inflection point. We seek to dramatically increase our impact on low-income school communities by scaling our approach to personalized learning, and we are proud to have secured catalytic support from the Gates Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation.”
The organization received $4.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in addition to $1 million apiece from Oak Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic foundation.
The combined funding will support the creation of tools and programs that support personalized learning. Some examples of the innovations PowerMyLearning will develop include:
- Rigorous student-facing Playlists featuring a sequence of open third-party digital content — such as games, interactives, videos and simulations — combined with questions to assess learning.
- Teacher-facing Playlists of digital content designed to build teachers’ capacity for personalized learning.
- An innovative service delivery model for building the capacity of coaches from school districts, CMOs, and other organizations to spread personalized learning in public schools.
The student-facing and teacher-facing digital Playlists will be freely available on PowerMyLearning’s award-winning digital learning platform, PowerMyLearning Connect, and the new service delivery model will allow PowerMyLearning to dramatically increase its reach nationwide
Both student-facing and teacher-facing Playlists will provide multiple access points for personalized learning, which will support diverse learners.
“The promise of personalized learning is that it ensures the needs of all learners are met — including those with learning differences,” says Dana Brinson, Programme Officer at Oak Foundation. “PowerMyLearning is committed to developing high-quality tools and curating digital content that makes this vision a reality. We want public schools and districts across the country to know about PowerMyLearning’s approach to personalized learning and to access the free, open educational resources they have created to help to teachers reach all learners.”
Within the next five years, PowerMyLearning aims to extend its proven approach to more than 100,000 students annually.
“We are excited to support PowerMyLearning’s plan to scale its proven professional development practices,” says Saskia Levy Thompson, Program Director at Carnegie Corporation of New York for New Designs to Advance Learning. “Harnessing technology to build the capacity of teachers and instructional coaches, as well as to effectively engage families in their children’s learning, is an important lever for improving America’s public schools.”
PowerMyLearning is a national nonprofit that partners with schools in high-poverty communities to enable teachers to team up with families and colleagues to provide personalized, integrated, and joyful learning experiences for students. Founded in 1999, the organization currently serves nearly 7,000 high-need students and families in more than 40 schools in four regions – New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area – and its free digital learning platform, PowerMyLearning Connect, is used by more than 40,000 school communities nationwide. By using technology to build important bonds between students, teachers, and families, PowerMyLearning has demonstrated impact on student academic achievement and love of learning; teacher instructional practices; and parental confidence.