MacArthur Spins Off Digital Ed Work with $25 Million Seed Grant

The MacArthur Foundation awards $25 million to Collective Shift, a new nonprofit which will use social media to combine in-school, out-of-school, work-based, and online learning opportunities that are accessible to all students.

Collective Shift is collaborating with LRNG, musician John Legend’s education venture, which helps teachers re-invent learning and classrooms to better connect with their digitally savvy students.

The seed grant builds on more than $200 million in research, design experiments, and demonstrations that MacArthur supported over the past decade. The goal of that work was to understand how young people are learning with digital media and what the implications are for how learning is designed and supported to ensure more equitable access to opportunity for success. The new organization will expand a MacArthur-supported, city-based demonstration project designed to align city resources, connect in- and out-of-school learning, and advance workforce development to help prepare young people for college, career, and engaged citizenship. Over the past three years, pilots in Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. provided a vast array of in-person and online learning opportunities—hundreds of them to more than 100,000 youth this past summer alone.

“The real scale and spread of the principles, practices and products that have emerged from 10 years of investment in digital media and learning require a new, more diverse set of investors and partners,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “We are making a bet on LRNG, and on Collective shift”

GlassLab will merge with Collective Shift, initially to build out the LRNG analytics platform, and design and develop breakthrough LRNG games and an engaging youth platform for accessing learning opportunities.


About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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