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Funding, Grants & Awards | News

IBM Doles out $1.3 Million in Ed Grants for Race to the Top Recipients

IBM will provide grants worth $1.3 million to five states, a portion of which will be awarded in the form of educational technology, over the next three years. All five states have already received money through the Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge program.

According to the United States Department of Education's Web site, the Early Learning Challenge program provides funding to "states that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive early learning education reform." Considerations include effectiveness of teachers, program improvement, raising standards, and assessment.

Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have received $500 million through the Early Learning Challenge program, collectively.

The IBM grant funding, which varies by state, includes:

  • IBM's KidSmart Young Explorers computer learning centers, which include colorful, child-size Little Tikes furniture, and built-in math, science, and language software.
  • Web-based Reading Companion, which utilizes IBM voice recognition technology to listen to students read and give feedback;
  • Installation of Young Explorer and Reading Companion;
  • Development of project management software;
  • Data capture advice; and
  • Creation of mobile applications.

IBM's Young Explorers and Reading Companion programs provide technology to schools in urban, less-wealthy areas.  

The IBM grants also include access to kidsmartearlylearning.org, which has software available for free download. The site provides information for parents and preschool teachers on learning and playing together, integrating technology, and access for all.

"With the right hands-on instruction, the use of technology to engage and enhance young children's learning experiences can make a lifelong impact," said Shelley Pasnik, director of the Center for Children and Technology. "IBM is providing such technology and related services to states that have earned Race to the Top funding. No doubt these states, given their visionary approach to technology and education, will put these resources from IBM to good use as they strive to prepare children for a lifetime of learning and accomplishment."

For more information, visit citizenibm.com.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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