New grants aim to spur ed-tech innovation

“We want to stimulate and reward creative thinking within the existing educational community to create a vibrant ecosystem of new technologies to advance education,” said Brian Whitmer, Instructure’s co-founder and chief learning officer, in a press release.

“The conversation around technology’s role in remaking education has been largely dominated by third-party vendors,” Whitmer continued. “We want to see what can happen when the educational community works to drive innovation from within.”

Instructure announced the grants during the 2013 EDUCAUSE conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 15. The company is accepting proposals from K-12 schools, colleges, and universities from now until Jan. 20, 2014.

A panel of education leaders and industry analysts will judge proposals based on their originality, creativity, feasibility, and potential to drive meaningful change in making education better or more accessible for students.

Five higher-education winners will receive $10,000 each, and 10 K-12 winners will receive $5,000 apiece. The grant winners will be announced during the SXSWedu 2014 conference in Austin, Texas, in March.

The grant program is the latest in a series of efforts by Instructure to promote innovation from within the educational community. In April, Instructure launched an open API for building educational software applications on a common standard, a key step in establishing a collaborative ed-tech ecosystem. In May, Instructure partnered with other ed-tech companies on an “app bounty” that provided cash awards for educational apps built on the LTI standard.

eSchool News Staff

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