Reference and Education

Education Department Honors Tech Initiatives


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education at a convening here yesterday awarded recognition to 10 educational technology projects aiming to expand access to education and pipelines to the work force.

The #edu2030 Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge from the department’s Office of Educational Technology offered no funds to winning projects but aimed to shine a spotlight for investors and other observers on ambitious initiatives. Two of the 10 winners — JetBlue's proposal to widely share its model for offering degrees to employees, and an artificial intelligence platform for organizing skills and identifying careers — also won the public vote, earning free tickets to next year’s ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego.

In her opening remarks at the ceremony, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos singled out “promising” projects including Google’s efforts to expand its recently announced certificate on the Coursera platform; Paul Quinn College’s growing suite of certificate and credential programs offering new skills to adult workers; and JetBlue’s proposal. She also offered praise for lifelong learning programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which she visited last week.

“Washington doesn’t have all the solutions,” DeVos said at the event. “New approaches to education will come from people in this room — entrepreneurs, philanthropists, teachers and parents. Solutions may well come from students themselves.”

The full list of winners, as well as 15 runner-up “finalists” and all 164 projects competing in the contest, is available here.

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