Learning Minds

Research centers improve the use of EdTech and AI

CELLA and CERES are two research centers funded by the Jacobs Foundation to improve the design and use of artificial intelligence (AI) and new technology products in schools, and to help the EdTech sector fulfill its potential to do better for children everywhere.

The Jacobs Foundation awarded a grant of $11 million to Professors Gillian Hayes and Candice Odgers at the University of California, Irvine, to support the creation of the Connecting the EdTech Research EcoSystem (CERES). The main focus of CERES is to bridge the gap between leading scientists – in computer science, psychology, neuroscience, and education – and the EdTEch industry, so digital technologies used in schools become better suited to what will actually improve children’s learning. The program will also examine how to reduce the growing inequality in access to digital technology, as well as train the next generation of researchers.

A second grant of CHF 2 million to Professor Sanna Järvelä of the University of Oulu, Finland, and Inge Molenaar of Radboud University, the Netherlands, was awarded to the Center for Learning and Living with AI (CELLA) to promote the development of technology in education that has been thoroughly researched before its introduction into schools. CELLA researchers will work with secondary schools and EdTech entrepreneurs around the world to support the development of intelligent learning technologies, such as online adaptive systems and game-based learning with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

CERES and CELLA researchers will collaborate to promote the use of technology in schools based on evidence.