MIT's Connected Learning Initiative Receives Prestigious UNESCO Award | MIT J-WEL

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MIT's Connected Learning Initiative Receives Prestigious UNESCO Award

Vijay Kumar receives CLIx award

Today, MIT News announced that the Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) at MIT has been awarded the 2017 UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize. CLIx is a joint project between MIT Open Learning, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and the Tata Trusts in India that works toward advancing the professional and academic opportunities available to high school learners from underserved communities in India. 

The UNESCO prize has a different theme every year based on innovations in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The theme for this year’s prize was “the use of ICTs to increase access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.” An international jury selected CLIx as one of just two projects to receive this award from a pool of over 900 projects submitted for consideration in 2017. 

Co-principal investigators for this project are J-WEL’s executive director and MIT associate dean for open learning, Vijay Kumar, and faculty co-director for pK-12, MIT Professor Eric Klopfer. We are proud to note that many of our other colleagues from J-WEL and MIT Open Learning also collaborated on this project, including Kirky DeLong, Glenda Stump, Claudia Urrea, and Brandon Muramatsu. 

From MIT News: 
"Available in Hindi, Telugu and English, CLIx’s blended learning experiences are designed to augment traditional secondary school coursework for students from traditionally underserved rural schools in four of India’s states. First used in schools in January 2016, the program is delivering 15 STEM and English courses to 460 schools, 2,000 teachers, and 35,000 students, with a goal of doubling the number of students in 2018-19."

Professor Eric Klopfer shares his thoughts on the project: 

“CLIx has been a fabulous example of what international collaborations can do to make a difference in educational systems. Together we have worked on pedagogy, teacher development, school systems, government support, capacity development, and of course technology. There are so many systems that we must consider to effectively create change. We are now starting to see the positive impacts of this collaboration and multifaceted approach. It’s very rewarding. We hope that our efforts continue to have an impact on the communities we’re working in, as well as others who adopt a similar model.” 

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