Learning Minds

Connecting the EdTech Research Ecosystem (CERES)

The Jacobs Foundation has made a grant of $11 million to Professors Gillian Hayes and Candice Odgers at the University of California, Irvine, to support the creation of a collaborative network – Connecting the EdTech Research Ecosystem (CERES) – to help to unlock the impact of EdTech.

Digital experiences had become a common part of how children learn, play, and socialize well before the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, children around the globe were moved out of their classrooms and into online spaces to learn and socialize almost overnight.

As school doors begin to open and children reunite with teachers and friends, in schools and on playgrounds, most will also continue to learn and socialize in online spaces. Yet, online spaces and tools are often not designed to offer young people the types of support and opportunities for learning that they need.

To help bridge this gap, the Jacobs Foundation grant to create CERES will bring together global leaders in computer science, psychology, neuroscience, education and the educational technology (EdTech) industry so digital technologies can be better tailored to children. The network will also shift the existing imbalance to reduce growing inequalities in access, as well as train the next generation of researchers working across multiple disciplines in academia and industry.