Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation Receives $2.25 Million to Accelerate the Development of Digital Tools for Teacher Learning and Collaboration

REDWOOD CITY, CA—On Tuesday, November 2, the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDEF) announced it has received a $2.25 million award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to support teacher collaboration and resource sharing across California.

Last August, CDEF partnered with the California Department of Education (CDE) and technology company Declara to launch the Collaboration In Common (CiC) platform and support the state’s #GoOpen campaign. CiC provides a social network for professional learning communities that provides tools and resources to promote sharing and collaboration between educators and educational organizations across the state. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant will be used to support CiC and enhancements to the Declara platform to accelerate personalized learning and professional growth.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson noted, “This is a terrific step forward in helping California teachers prepare their students for 21st century careers and college. This new online learning space helps educators make sense of the vast amount of materials available. Collaboration in Common will help California become a leader in supporting teacher-led innovation that scales personalized learning.”

The new developments mean CiC will continue to expand the potential for collaborative professional learning by making it possible for stakeholders at all levels to connect in real-time, regardless of location. CEO of CDEF, Shelly Masur, commented, “CiC is an innovative expression of how California’s local and state-level education leaders are partnering to build educator professional capital, emphasize collaborative efforts, support effective teaching, and develop system-wide solutions that will improve outcomes for California’s students.”

CiC is powered by Declara, a Palo Alto-based technology company that has supported similar initiatives at the national education level in Australia and Mexico. The company is working closely with CDE and CDEF to provide a platform that is agile, intuitive and responsive to the needs of the community. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), the CiC platform utilizes user interest and behavior to provide accurate, relevant and real-time recommendations for content and human connections to accelerate learning.

The impact of this grant reaches far beyond California. As a #GoOpen state, California has committed to sharing its resources and strategies across state lines. Torlakson sees the CiC model as one potential contribution to the national #GoOpen consortium. “The public-private partnership we’ve created with CDEF and Declara is a model of how states can support innovation to personalize learning at scale. By utilizing leaders from industry, education, and nonprofit sectors, the model allows the state to approach the complex challenges of technology from a variety of angles, then push successful innovations out to a wider community.”

For more information, please contact Adam Ebrahim, Director of Implementation for Collaboration in Common at adam@cdefoundation.org

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