Advancing Educational Equity

Google.org
Jul 8, 2020 · 3 min read

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” While information is powerful, education and learning can transform information into knowledge. We believe that all young people should have access to a high quality education to expand their knowledge and prepare them for success in career and life. But today, not all young people have access to adequate or engaging learning opportunities.

That’s why since 2005 Google.org has donated over $250M to nonprofits around the globe focused on leveraging technology in powerful ways to close education gaps. Over the last few years we’ve created three specific grant portfolios to advance educational equity.

DISTANCE LEARNING FUND

2020 | $10M

At the peak of COVID-19, more than 1.5 billion students were out of school. And while most teachers, parents, schools, and students were impacted by the shift, students who were already marginalized were the least likely to be able to continue learning during the pandemic.

Through our Distance Learning Fund, we supported organizations working to provide training and support to teachers, deliver high quality digital learning opportunities to students, and provide the resources needed to keep learning going.

COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

2013-ongoing | $80M+

By 2020 more than half of all jobs will require technical skills like coding, but a majority of students still don’t learn these skills in school. The gap in access to relevant learning experiences is especially stark for Black and Latinx students because high schools with a large number of students of color are 2x less likely to offer any CS courses, and 3x less likely to offer more rigorous CS, such as AP CS A, than schools with a smaller population of Black and Latinx students.

Google.org is committed to supporting organizations around the globe that increase access to high quality CS learning opportunities that affirm the diverse range of experiences, learning styles, and identities present in classrooms.

Global Education Portfolio

2016–2017 | $50M

While as a global community we’ve made huge progress on decreasing the number of children around the world that are not enrolled in school, a new quality challenge has emerged: 130 million children around the globe complete four years of school without learning to read or add and subtract. In India, for instance, roughly half of all 5th grade children can’t read a second grade text or perform a two-digit subtraction problem.

Google has long believed that technology has a vital role to play in tackling these and other educational challenges; it can get more books to students, more lesson plans to teachers, and classrooms to kids who can’t get there themselves. Based on the areas of greatest need and where technology could have differential value, our Global Education Portfolio focused on grants to organizations working in three priority areas: giving more students access to quality learning materials, supporting teacher development, and reaching students in conflict zones.

Our support of organizations that work with teachers and students around the globe gives us optimism about the future. Today’s students are powerful leaders on their way to creating a better world we can’t yet imagine. We look forward to sharing more about the organizations we’ve supported and what we’ve learned together — stay tuned!

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