Highlights from the March 13 virtual information session

On March 13, the Learning Landscapes Challenge team hosted a virtual information session to provide an overview of the challenge and answer questions. Jamie Jutila (Senior Program Officer at the Walton Family Foundation), Joshua Elder (Vice President and Head of Grantmaking at Siegel Family Endowment), and Ali Chin (Grantmaking Manager at Siegel Family Endowment) discussed how the challenge marks a new approach by connecting and integrating digital, in-school, and community-based learning experiences.

Watch the session recording and continue reading for highlights from the live event.

Review a summary of frequently asked questions and answers, read the transcript, and download the presentation.

Helping K-12 students access innovative learning experiences

From teachers and community organizations to students and families, forward-thinking education changemakers across the United States are experimenting with highly effective models of personalized and experiential learning. With the right structures and tools to expand their reach, these learning experiences can reduce achievement gaps and drive long-term success for even more students.

“Educators, parents, families, and communities are coming together to design learning models that are connecting students to experiences they may not have in their traditional school day. To reach a greater scale, we’re going to have to innovate not just the learning model itself, but also solutions that can help students access these innovative experiences.”
Jamie Jutila, Senior Program Officer, The Walton Family Foundation

Using multidimensional solutions to meet student learning needs

Increased federal investment in infrastructure has created a unique window of opportunity. The Learning Landscapes Challenge is incentivizing partnerships to integrate the physical, digital, and social infrastructure required to meet K-12 students’ learning needs now and in the future. Multidimensional solutions can address the root problems that affect learning access and quality.

“Oftentimes when we think about infrastructure, the first thing we go to is subways or bridges. But what if we didn’t take this isolated view of the individual components of infrastructure? So, we created a multidimensional framework for infrastructure — and then took it a step further. We’re figuring out the role that infrastructure could play in building a future-ready state of education.”
Joshua Elder, Vice President and Head of Grantmaking, Siegel Family Endowment

“By investing in multidimensional approaches, we can break down silos and meet students’ holistic needs. When thinking about the infrastructure needed for future-ready learning environments, it’s less about the individual types of infrastructure, and more about the connective tissues that really bring them together in order to integrate and expand learning across digital, in-school, and community contexts.”
Ali Chin, Grantmaking Manager, Siegel Family Endowment

Answers to top questions

Attendees had the chance to ask questions during the information session. Top questions included:

How is infrastructure defined for the challenge?

The challenge is employing a multidimensional approach to infrastructure. For the purposes of the challenge, infrastructure includes the physical, digital, and social tools, structures, resources, and systems needed to effectively connect learning experiences across in-school, digital, and community contexts. This definition is intentionally broad in order to seek a diverse range of approaches and ideas. 

Visit the resources page to see an illustrative list of examples of physical, digital, and social infrastructure.

Are solutions focused on out-of-school time or out-of-system learning eligible?

Solutions can focus on out-of-system learning or out-of-school time, however, they should ultimately seek to connect to other learning experiences. This connection can include:

  • Public funding streams for learning outside of the classroom or in non-traditional learning environments.
  • Provision of credentials that are recognized by public education institutions.
  • Interoperable data systems for tracking student performance and achievement.
  • Alignment with curriculum for additional enrichment.
  • Integrated governance and accountability systems.

How are learning outcomes defined for the purposes of the challenge?

For the purposes of the challenge, learning outcomes are outcomes related to student academic or career success. Solutions do not have to be aimed directly at students, but entrants must demonstrate how their solutions would ultimately impact learning outcomes for K-12 students. As part of their theory of change, entrants will be expected to identify the learning outcomes that they are aiming to achieve and articulate how their proposed solution will improve these outcomes.

Visit the FAQs page to review the full list of questions and answers.

Enter the $2.2 million challenge by May 14

Phase 1 submissions are due by 7:59 p.m. ET on May 14, 2024. To get started, explore the submission form and review the evaluation criteria. Entrants are also encouraged to browse the curated resources, related to infrastructure opportunities, student-centered learning, community-based design, partnership development, equitable impact, and sustainable scaling.

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